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Introductory Remarks, 



CLASS I. VASCULARES. Flowering Plants. 



Sub-class I. EXOGENM. Dicotyledones. 

1. Polypetalous Plants. 



Araliaceae, .... 



Umbelliferae, .... 






Papaveraceae, . . . 






Hydropeltideae, .... 






Crucifera3, .... 






Capperideae, .... 






Malvaceae, .... 






t— 1 


Saxifrageae, .... 


2- >" 


Cacteae, .... 


ex c/> 

UJ ~ 


Onagrariae, .... 


<C —1 




uj S 

5 g 


Circaeaceae, .... 



Loaseae, .... 


5 o 


Salicariae, . . - . 


O =3 


Melastomaceag, . „ 




Order 62. 















































































. 100 

. 104 




. 105 





2. Mo?iopetalous Plants 
Pyrolaceae, . 


. 108 





Order 181. 

Cucurbitacese, . 






Plumbaginese, .... 

. 115 


Dipsaceas, .... 



Composite, .... 

. 116 


Stellatce, .... 



Asclepiadeae, .... 

. 145 


Apocyneae, .... 



Gentianeae, .... 

. 147 

J 98. 





. 150 





Primulaceae, .... 

. 152 





Orobancheae, .... 

. 156 





Rhinanthaceae, .... 

. 163 


Solaneae, .... 



Pedalinese, .... 

. 172 





Labiatae, .... 

. 174 





Hydrophylleae, .... 

. 187 



Sub-class II. ENDOGENm. Monocotyledons 
Order 229. Alismaceee, 

231. Hydrocharideae, 

232. Commelineae, 

233. Xyrideae, 
235. Hypoxideae, 

238. Amaryllideae, . 

239. Irideae, 

240. Orchideae, 

244. Junceae, 

245. Melanthaceae, 





Order 246. 






. 207 






. 214 






. 217 






. 219 






. 225 






Order 261. 

Gramineae, . 






. 254 






By the Rev. CHESTER DE^VEY, 


To His Excellency Marcus Morton, 

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts : 


Soon after our appointment on the Botanical Survey, my associate, 
George B. Emerson, Esq., of Boston, consented to take the charge of 
the trees and shrubs, and to leave the herbaceous plants to my particu- 
lar attention. In conformity to this arrangement, I early entered upon 
the work, and have prosecuted it long ; and, in fulfilling the duties of 
the commission received from the hand of your predecessor in office, 
I herewith transmit my Report on the Herbaceous part of the Flower- 
ing Plants. 

Except the necessary systematic arrangement, I have laid aside, to 
a great extent, the technical language of Botany, as being less con- 
sistent with the popular object of the Survey. Scientific descriptions 
have already been published for professed botanists ; these were sup- 
posed to be designed for the mass of intelligent citizens. 

The cultivated plants form no small part of agricultural wealth, 
and are the chief source of it. They seem to merit special attention. 
The cultivation of even ornamental plants is intimately connected 
with intellectual and moral habits, and a pure and refined taste. It 
cannot be believed by the benevolent mind, that the Author of nature 
has spread over the earth the most delicate and rich beauties of plants 
and flowers, without designing to attract the attention, and gratify the 
feelings, of men, or that He intended their beauty and fragrance 
should be wasted " on the desert air." 

Those plants, which have not yet been applied to any valuable 
purpose, are often minutely described in this Report, to lead to the 
consideration of the proportion of this part of vegetables, and the 
great ends designed in this amount of vegetable life. The Introduction 
to the Report is, in part, occupied with the discussion of this interest- 
ing subject. 

Your Excellency need not be reminded, that, while the Report re- 
quired great labor, it also made necessary a previous attention, for 
years, to the examination of our plants. 


It was my intention to make some report on the cellular plants, — 
the cryptogamous vegetables, — but there has not been time to ac- 
complish it. 

It is not to be expected that the Report is entirely perfect, but care 
and effort have been employed to make it as complete as possible. 
With high respect and consideration, 

I am your Excellency's 

Very obedient servant, 

February 24th, 1840. 


The object of Botany is the arrangement and description of 
Plants. Systematic Botany must depend upon such principles, 
that it may have a universal application. That the language may 
be useful, and attain its direct object, it must be descriptive of 
the particular and minute, as well as the great, facts in the world 
of vegetables. An artificial and a natural method have been 
adopted lor this purpose ; and both were begun by Linnaeus, the 
Father of Botany. The former was carried to great extent and 
perfection by him ; the latter has been greatly improved, and, 
under great modifications, carried to much perfection by later 
botanists. In its details, much yet remains to be ascertained and 

In the artificial system of Linnaeus, the Classes, Orders, and 
Genera were determined by the organs employed in the produc- 
tion of the seed, or rather, by the several parts of the flower and 
fruit. As these organs were visible or invisible, he divided plants 
into the two great divisions of Phenogamous and Cryptogamous, 
that is, having visible and invisible organs of reproduction. As this 
system, with all its simplicity and beauty, and ease of application, 
and extensive adoption, associated plants of very different struc- 
ture, the natural method has been adopted by the most distin- 
guished botanists of the present age. In the Natural System, 
plants are associated according to their resemblance in structure 
and organization. To the great Linnaean divisions just mention- 
ed, correspond the Vasculares and Cellulares, or, as they are also 
called, from another great fact, the Flowering and the Flowerless 
plants. Between the structure of these two divisions, there seems 
to be a pretty marked distinction. To the cellular structure of 
the Cellulares, only a mere allusion can be made. 


The Vasculares, those possessed of flowers, form two great 
subdivisions, according to their manner of growth, called Exogenoz 
and Endogence. In the Exogenous plants, the growth is by 
layers, or a deposition of matter upon the outside, as shown in the 
concentric layers of trees and shrubs ; in the Endogenous plants, 
the growth is by a deposition of matter within the plant. In the 
former, the bark, wood, pith, &c, are readily distinguished ; 
in the latter, they are not. In the former, too, the new and 
delicate matter is protected by the bark, from the inside of 
which it is made ; in the latter, the same protection is effected 
by the place of its deposit in the interior of the plant. 

The Vasculares are propagated by seeds, and are chiefly char- 
acterized by the leaves. Some are propagated also by bulbs or 
roots, and are found in the Endogenous division. The leaves 
of the Exogenous plants have branching or netted veins very 
generally ; but the Endogenous usually have veined leaves, or 
leaves with veins rising from the foot-stalk, and running through 
the leaf either curved or straight, and parallel and undivided. 
By the veining of the leaves, these two important subdivisions 
are, as a general fact, readily distinguished. 

The seeds of the Exogenae have two cotyledons, or are di- 
cotyledonous ; those of the Endogenae are monocotyledonous. 

A "Catalogue of Plants growing without Cultivation " in the 
Commonwealth, arranged according to the Natural Method of 
Lindley, as published and applied to the plants of this country by 
Professor Torrey of New York, was given by Professor Hitch- 
cock in the Geology of the State already published by the Legis- 
lature. The Orders of this "Catalogue," have been followed 
in this Report on the Herbaceous plants, with the addition of 
such Orders from Lindley, as the introduction of the cultivated 
plants has made necessary. The changes made in some of these 
Orders, both in Europe and our own country, are not sufficiently 
settled to require a departure from the Orders of Lindley. It 
was thought best, also, to follow these Orders, that the whole 
Survey might be more symmetrical, and reference to the various 
parts more easy and satisfactory. For the same reason, the 
names of the genera and species in Professor Hitchcock's Cata- 
logue have been retained, even in the few cases where it might 


be supposed a later or earlier name was to be preferred. Some 
additional species, since discovered or ascertained, have been put 
in their proper places. For ease of reference to Lindley's work, 
his numbers of the several Orders have been given, although many 
of his Orders are omitted, because we have no plants belonging 
to them. 

It has been supposed, too, that while the objects to be attained 
by the Legislature in the Survey, required a systematic arrange- 
ment in the outline, it was important that the descriptions should 
be popular in their character, easy to be apprehended, and 
not technical in their language, and that notice should be taken 
of facts of importance or of interest in any respect. The botan- 
ical name, with the usual abbreviation of the author's name, has 
been given, but without the synonymes ; because one name 
would direct the botanist to the plant intended, and more names, 
and even all the synonymes, would offer no advantage to the com- 
mon reader. 

The cultivated plants have been introduced, whether raised in 
the garden or on the farm, and many of the parlour ; whether de- 
signed for ornament, food, clothing, or art, or manufacture. All 
these were supposed to have been intended in the Survey of 
Vegetable Life in the Commonwealth. 

In drawing up this Report, besides tlr; actual examination of a 
great proportion of the plants, and the advantage of a long atten- 
tion to them, reference has been freely made to all the accessible 
authors on our plants, to several of whom abundant and direct 
acknowledgment is made. The descriptions of the Orders, how- 
ever, are chiefly from Lindley's work already referred to, while 
the properties and geography have been taken from him and any 
others who have treated of them. It is too well known for re- 
mark, that the works of Michaux, Muhlenburg, Rush, Bigelow, 
Eaton, Torrey, Nuttall, Beck, &c, contain full scientific accounts 
of nearly all the plants mentioned in this Survey. There is room, 
doubtless, for the display of their economical properties, and their 
application to art and manufacture, to the support, and ornament, 
and enjoyment of life, to a much greater extent. The Agri- 
cultural Survey will probably detail many particulars respecting the 


cultivated vegetables, in the proper statistics of the farm, which 
might otherwise find a place in the Botanical Report. 


A large number of the plants which are considered useless, 
because they have yet no known application, are particularly 
described in this Report. They occupy space ; they aid in cov- 
ering the earth with vegetable life. They are, indeed, iceeds, 
and often considered as mere nuisances. What is the advantage 
derived from them ? What object is designed by them ? Can 
any one be in truth useless 9 Certainly not, is the reply to the 
last question. The others may receive the following answers : 

1. The vegetable kingdom is the great means of purifying the 
atmosphere, so that it may sustain the animal kingdom. Respira- 
tion of animals, and various operations in nature, produce such a 
change as tends to make the atmosphere unfit for its great office. 
Its oxygen has become combined with carbon, or the essence of 
charcoal, and cannot be separated by the lungs so as to support 
life. This separation is effected by vegetables. They take up 
the carbon and restore the oxygen to the atmosphere. They do 
this as they grow in the air, and also as they grow in and under 
water. Provision is made for the absorption of carbonic acid by 
water, and thus food is supplied to plants, and life to animals. 
This is one of the most beautiful provisions in the economy of 
Divine Providence. It has sometimes been doubted whether 
vegetables were able completely to accomplish the object. None 
have maintained, however, that they did not operate largely and 
chiefly to this end. Even the general opinion seems to be strong- 
ly in favor of their perfectly effecting this purpose. To ac- 
complish this object, vegetables must be spread widely over the 
earth. It might not be sufficient to depend upon the results of 
cultivation. Besides, the vegetables must be formed for growth 
through all the warm season of the year, and in all the variety of 
soil, situation, climate, condition. Plants that are directly useful, 


would not be more likely to effect this end in all this variety ; it 
is doubtful, indeed, whether the useful plants would be so well 
adapted to this state of things, as they generally require a more 
favorable combination of circumstances. 

To secure this end, too, it is important that a host of plants 
should have no natural attractions for animals, that they may grow 
without molestation, and exert their influence upon the atmosphere 
without interruption. 

This end is secured by the foliage of forests, which is chiefly 
removed from all access of destructive agencies. 

It is a general fact, that animals multiply nearly in proportion to 
the supply of food. If all vegetables were food for animals, the 
entire action of a great multitude could not be employed, as it 
now is, in purifying the atmosphere. 

In this grand respect, all plants are performing a work of the 
highest utility. Unseen and silent, they renovate the very pabu- 
lum of life. 

2. Another end of the vegetable kingdom is food for the ani- 
mal. All animal life is ultimately supported from the vegetable 
world. But animal life abounds ; tens of thousands of smaller 
animals, and especially of the insect tribe, must be dependent, as 
well as the larger animals and man, upon vegetables. By their 
foliage and seeds, the plants now considered as useless by many, 
may give far more support in the article of food, than is com- 
monly imagined. We know that many small birds derive much 
food from seeds, as also a host of insects ; and yet we may be in 
relative ignorance on this subject. Even the animals of the seas 
must have no inconsiderable dependence upon vegetable substances 
for their support. A great amount of decomposed vegetables must 
be annually poured into the great reservoir by all the rivers. 

3. Plants enrich the soil, and fit it for the production of vege- 
tables in greater quantity. This is true of vegetables generally, 
when they live and die and decay on their place of growth. Cul- 
tivation often exhausts land, because no adequate return is made 
for the vegetable matter removed from the fields. The vegeta- 
bles, often considered useless, will, by their decay, perform 
another important service, in enriching the earth, and improving the 
soil. It has long been remarked, that this effect follows, because 



the atmosphere contains the elements of vegetable matter, and 
plants derive their support from the air as well as from the earth. 
Experiment has proved that a plant will grow and flourish without 
any food except that obtained from water and the atmosphere. 
The reason for giving up exhausted fields to the growth of any 
vegetables for a few years, is philosophical and conclusive. 
Without the great fact of vegetables enriching the earth, the 
reason could not exist. 

4. Many important properties and applications of these plants 
may yet be discovered and made, so that they may be seen to be 
more directly useful. Great discoveries have been made in this 
respect within the last fifty years. It cannot be doubted that the 
progress of discovery is only just commenced. The beautiful 
colors for painting, called lakes, are many of them obtained from 
vegetables, and many more may yet be procured. Combinations, 
too, of vegetable matter may develope important powers. With- 
out this, indeed, important uses have already been seen. 

5. The beauty and variety of vegetable life are in themselves a 
useful end. In this way are displayed the wisdom, power, and 
contrivance of the Creator ; the illimitable means at his control ; 
the effecting of the same ends by objects so diverse ; the adapta- 
tion of means to ends ; the constant supervision of his agency ; 
the ceaseless variety amidst surprising uniformity. 

These are reasons amply adequate to produce an interest in 
respect to all parts of vegetables. The purification of the at- 
mosphere alone, and preserving in it the due proportion of oxy- 
gen in a state to support life, invests the world of vegetables with 
new attractions. 









CLASS I. VASCULARES. Flowering Plants. 

Sub-class I. EXOGENJE. Dicotyledones. 


(Or having seeds enclosed in a pericarp or covering.) 

1. Polypetalous, Jlpetalous, and Achlamijdeous Plants. 

ORDER 1. ARALIACE.E. The Aralia Tribe. 

Flowers in the form of an umbel ; leaves compound ; fruit 
a berry ; permanent calyx standing on the germ or ovary ; 
stamens 5 or 6, 10 or 12, rising within the border of the calyx or 

This is a small order, embracing, in Massachusetts, only two 
genera and five species, though the plants of the order are found 
widely scattered over North America, and in China, Japan, New 
Zealand, he. Some of them are shrubby, while ours are herba- 
ceous. The plants possess no properties of much interest. 

1. Aralia. L. 5. 5. 

The origin of the name is unknown, but a plant of this name 
was first sent to Europe from Quebec in 1764. Loudon. 

Calyx entire, or 5-toothed ; corol 5-petalled, small ; stamens 
5 or more, 5 spreading styles ; berry 5 or 10-seeded, crowned 
with the styles ; small involucres often on the umbels. 

1. A. racemosa. L. Spikenard. Branched, herbaceous 
stem ; petioles 3-parted, with ternate or quinate divisions, and 


the leafets acuminate, sharp-serrate, ovate or cordate ; umbels 
many, on large axillary panicles. 

This well-known plant is a native of our woods, and often cul- 
tivated in our gardens ; flowers white and small, in umbels, on a 
divided, somewhat panicled stem, with large leaves ; its height is 
often four or five feet. The plant is slightly odorous ; the root 
is highly aromatic, and formerly was used in a bruised state upon 
wounds, and is still employed for some medicinal purposes. 
Flowers in July and August. 

2. A. nudicaulis. L. Wild Sarsaparilla. Stalk, a foot or 
more high, bears a leaf which becomes twice ternate, or simply 
with 5 leafets, and a flower-stalk rising near the division, and 
shorter than the leafets, which are sessile, smooth, serrate, oblong- 
oval, and acute ; root creeping, thick, aromatic ; used by com- 
mon people often in the composition of a medicinal beer. Flow- 
ers are greenish, 3-umbelled, small. Widely spread over the 
woods from Arctic America to Carolina, and westward to the 
Rocky Mountains. 

3. A. hispida. Mx. Wild Elder. Stem is somewhat 
woody, or plant partly shrubby, bristly and hispid leaves doubly 
pinnate, with ovate and serrate smooth leafets ; bears many 
umbels of flowers, greenish white, and the peduncles axillary 
and terminal. Grows in dry or rocky woods, often three feet 
high, and usually dying about half way down ; is found from 
Virginia to Canada. It more commonly inhabits a light soil in 
Berkshire County, upon land partially cleared, which has been 
suffered to be overrun with briers and the like ; common, but 
not abundant. 

Panax. L. 5. 2. 

Calyx slightly 5-toothed, superior ; corolla 5-petalled ; stamens 
5, on the margin of the flower ; styles 2 or 3, and a berry 2 or 
3-seeded ; polygamous, and the calyx of the staminate flower 
entire. The meaning of the generic name is universal remedy, 
from the supposed virtues of the first species. The Chinese have 
written volumes upon the excellences of this plant ; and yet 


no wonderful or very superior properties have been discovered in 
the plant in Europe or America. London. 

P. quinquefolium. L. Ginseng. Stem divides a foot or 
less from the ground into three leaf-stalks, usually bearing 5 
leafets of oval form, serrate, acuminate, smooth ; the flower- 
stalks shorter than the leaf-stalks. Grows on the hills of Berk- 
shire County, but not in abundance. Its root is fleshy, long, 
and tapering, and greatly esteemed by the Chinese for its soothing 
influence. For its medicinal properties, see Bigelow's " Med- 
ical Botany." This plant is scattered over a wide range in our 
country. Flowers in June. 

P. trifolium. L. Dwarf Groundnut. Stem 3-8 inches 
high, dividing into 3 parts which are ternate or quinate, and have 
lance-oblong and serrate leafets, nearly sessile ; an umbel of small 
white flowers arises at the division of the leaves, on a short foot- 
stalk ; styles commonly 3 ; following the stem 6 or 8 inches into 
the earth, you find a round, tuberous root of the size of a small 
bullet. Spread over the open woods from Canada to Georgia. 
Difficult to find its Linnaean place, because of its variation in the 
number of stamens and pistils ; polygamous also ; berry 3-seeded. 
Flowers in May. 

ORDER 2. UMBELLIFER^. The Umbelliferous 


Calyx superior, 5-toothed, or entire ; petals 5, inserted on the 
germ, with 5 stamens alternating with the petals ; styles 2, on 
2 united seeds, or 2 seeds adhering by their sides ; flowers 
form an umbel, and commonly a compound umbel. Stems hollow 
or fistular, furrowed, and usually with divided leaves. Differ 
from the Araliaceae in the fruit. 

The plants of this order form many genera, and are spread 
widely over the world ; grow in all situations, plains, woods, 
marshes, and are far more numerous in the northern hemi- 
sphere. They are often very poisonous, and always to be sus- 
pected until proved ; some are healthful and nutritious, as Carrot, 


Parsnip, Celery ; the seeds are said never to be poisonous, and 
often are a pleasant aromatic, as Coriander, Dill. Various gum- 
resins exude from the wounded stem or branches, possessing very 
different properties, as Assafoetida from a species of Ferula, and 
gum Galbanum, as is supposed, from Bubon galbanum. Various 
medicinal properties are exhibited by them, and many become 
valuable articles. About twenty species are credited to this 

Conium. L. 5. 2. 

C. maculatum. L. Poison Hemlock. This plant de- 
lights in the sides of roads and fences, and abounds in 
many places where the soil is light and dry. In the time of 
flowering especially, it fills the air with nauseating effluvia ; 
grows from three to five feet high, branching, light green, spotted 
and handsome, and sends up many terminal umbels of small white 
flowers. It has no resemblance to our tree called Hemlock. It 
is employed to obtain, by maceration and careful evaporation, the 
extract usually called Cicuta, so valuable in medicine (see Big- 
elow's " Medical Botany "). It is supposed to have yielded the 
poison which Socrates drank. It is a native of Europe, and 
usually believed to have been introduced and naturalized here. 
Flowers in July. 

Conium is derived from the Greek for dust, probably from the 
dusty appearance of the pollen. 

Cicuta. L. 5. 2. American Hemlock. 

The name Cicuta is of unknown origin ; used by Virgil. Lou- 

Two species, growing on low grounds, and poisonous ; natives 
of the United States and Canada. 

1. C. maculata. L. Water Parsnip. Musquash Root. 
Stem 4-5 feet high, smooth, branching, spotted, with triply 
pinnate or much divided leaves ; whole plant rather glaucous 
green ; in wet meadows and pastures, not very abundant. When 
the leaves rise from the ground, the plant has some resemblance 
in form and odor to Sweet Cicely, and, though the root is far less 


sweet and pleasant, is mistaken for it, and the root, exceedingly 
poisonous, is eaten to the destruction of life. Children should 
never be permitted to expose themselves to this fatal mistake ; 
and yet scarcely a year passes, in which children are not de- 
stroyed by it. In Bigelow's u Medical Botany," is a full ac- 
count of its character and operation on the human system, and 
of its fatal effects. Flowers in July and August. 

2. C. bulbifera. L. Water Hemlock. Stem 2-3 feet 
high, branching, sleek, more slender than the other ; grows in 
ditches and about ponds or marshy places, bearing scaly bulbs in 
the axils of the leaves ; flowers small and white, on small terminal 
umbels, with partial involucre leafets. Poisonous. Flowers in 

Crantzia. Nutt. 5. 2. 

C. lineata. Nutt. Taken from the following genus ; found 
near Boston. Nuttall and B. D. Greene, Esq. 

Hydrocotyle. L. 5. 2. Marsh Pennywort. 

The three species found in this State, Americana, umbellata, 
vulgaris, are of too little importance to require description ; the 
plants are small, unattractive, and grow in moist or wet woods 
and hedges. 

From the Greek for icater-vessel, as the depression in the leaf 
holds a drop of water. 

Daucus. L. 5. 2. 

D. carota. L. The common Carrot. Paslinaca sativa. 
L. 5. 2. Parsnip. These are two well-known plants of 
the garden, and seem, in some cases, to be naturalized. The 
roots are nutritious and healthful, though the parsnip is said to be 
rather poisonous as it grows in a wild state ; natives of Europe. 

The use of the carrot as a food for cows, and proper nutriment 
for obtaining rich milk, is fully ascertained by agriculturists ; a 
native of England and other parts of Europe. 


Ligusticum. L. 5. 2. 

L. Scoticum. L. Lovage of the gardens, is naturalized 
near Boston and New Bedford, So little is the use of this 
plant, that it is rarely cultivated, at least in the western part 
of the State. It was found on the borders of salt marshes by 
Dr. Bigelow. 

One species is from Liguria, whence the name of the genus. 

L. actazifolium. Mx. Actasa-leaved Lovage, with umbels 
somewhat whirled, the lateral ones barren ; a plant upwards of 
3 feet high, having its side leaves trapeziform ; has been found 
in Topsfield and Scituate by Mr. Oakes and Mr. J. L. Russell. 

Angelica. L. 5. 2. 
A. triquinata. Mx. Angelica. Stem, 4-6 feet high, 
large, hollow, smooth ; leaves twice divided into 3 parts ; flowers 
in large umbels, spreading, greenish ; finely aromatic ; grows in 
meadows, and flowers in June. Big. 

The plant usually called by this specific name is much smaller, 
white, villous below the umbel, with white flowers. Beck. It is 
found in the adjoining parts of the State of New York. 

Heracleum. L. 5. 2. 

H. lanatum. Mx. Cow Parsnip. Named after Hercules. 

This is another large umbellate plant, often 6 feet high ; leaves 
ternate, large and spreading, woolly beneath, deeply cut, and serrate; 
flowers white, in very large spreading umbels, and strong scented. 
Grows in meadows, and flowers in June ; not very abundant. 

According to Sprengel, this species is the true H. panices, L., 
a native of the Apennines and Siberia. Beck. 

jEthusa. L. 5. 2. 

JE. cynapium. L. Fool's Parsley. Stem, 2 feet high, 
branching, not spotted, striate, with twice-pinnate leaves ; in- 
volucres at the partial umbels, of 3 long, linear, and pendulous 
leafets. This plant greatly resembles Conium, and is often mis- 


taken for it ; grows about the streets of Boston ; probably intro- 
duced ; flowers in July and August. Big. 

A peculiar vegetable alkali has been found in this plant by Pro- 
fessor Ficinus of Dresden, "which he calls Cynopia." hind. 
This plant is a deadly poison. 

It is named from the Greek, to burn, on account of its acrid 
power. Loudon. 

Discopleura. DC. 5. 2. 

D. capillacea. DC. Bishop Weed. Stem 1-2 feet high, 
smooth, bent a little at the branches, with much- divided leaves ; 
grows in wet places or bogs, near New Bedford. Allied to 
the following. 

Sium. L. 5. 2. Water Parsnip. 

Two species, latifolium, L., and lineare, Mx., which are only 
varieties, as they have been found, by T. A. Greene, and G. B. 
Emerson, growing from the same root, are found in the low 
grounds, often with Cicuta bulbifera, having branching stems, and 
pinnate leaves, and umbels of small white flowers, of a slight and 
offensive odor ; flowers in July and August. Poisonous. 

Sium is from the Celtic for water, about which the plant abounds. 

Sanicula. L. 5. 2. 
S. Marylandica. L. Sanicle. Stem about 2 feet high, 
with erect branches, and divided leaves so as to resemble the 
fingers, with flowers in simple umbels, and having a bush-like 
appearance ; seeds with hooked bristles ; flowers in June, and 
grows about thickets and hedges ; common. 

Sison. L. 5. 2. 

5. Canadense. L. Honewort. Stem about 2 feet high, 
with compound leaves in 3 divisions ; umbels branched, bearing 
minute white flowers and smooth seeds ; grows with the pre- 
ceding, and flowers in July. 

Sison is from the Celtic for stream, as some species live about 
waters. Loudon. 


Smyrnium. L. 5. 2. 

&. aureum. L. Meadow Parsnip. Cow Parsnip. Alex- 
anders. This plant has suffered repeated change of name. 
It is about 2 feet high, smooth, branching ; umbel compound, 
bearing orange-yellow flowers ; leaf-stalk divides into 3 parts, and 
then into 3 leafets. Grows on alluvial and upland meadows 
over the western part of the State, abundant on Connecticut 
River and in the eastern part of the State. Latterly it has at- 
tracted some attention for its medicinal properties. Dr. Partridge, 

Smyrnium is from the Greek for myrrh, as the juice smells 
like this substance. Loudon. 

Uraspermum. Nutt. 5. 2. 

U. Claytoni. Nutt. Sweet Cicely. The sweet, spicy 
flavor of the root, like anise seed, has made this plant an 
object of search with the young. Stem about 2 feet high, 
smooth, with ternate leaves ; flowers small and white, in June ; 
root spindle-form, somewhat fleshy, often branching ; inhabits 
borders of woods, and by fences of meadows. 

U. hirsutum. Big. Hairy Uraspermum. With the pre- 
ceding often grows this plant, and much resembles it, but is 
rough and hairy, and of a whitish cast, and its leaves are more 
deeply cut, and somewhat hairy ; the root has none of the pleas- 
ant sweetness of the preceding, but has a strong, rank taste. It 
was rightly formed into a distinct species by Dr. Bigelow. 
Found in the western part of State, as well as about Boston. 

Apium. L. 5. 2. 
A. graveolens. L. Celery. The common vegetable of our 
gardens. Introduced from Europe, and blanched by being nearly 
covered with earth as it grows, by which process it becomes 
juicy, sweet, crisp, and fine-flavored. The name Jlpium is said 
to be from the Celtic, water, from the wet places of the species. 
Even this one is coarse, rough, and poisonous in its wild state. 


ORDER 3. RANUNCULACEiE. Crowfoot Tribe. 

Calyx many-leafed, inferior or below the germ, leafets or 
sepals 3-6; polypetalous, 5-15 petals in rows, also inferior 
or hypogynous ; stamens indefinite, many hypogynous ; pistils 
many, one to each ovarium, forming a many-celled pistil, or 
several small and distinct carpels or little seed-vessels ; fruit vari- 
ous, generally herbaceous ; leaves alternate or opposite ; various 

This is an extensive order of plants, but most numerous in 
Europe, and next in North America. They belong to a climate 
damp and cold. hind. A considerable number is found in 
this Commonwealth. 

The properties of this order render the plants generally to be 
suspected, as they are often caustic, acrid, or poisonous ; some- 
times tonic, bitter, or antispasmodic. The medicinal characters 
of the order are very diverse. 

Act3:a. L. 12. 1. 

Ji. rubra. W. Baneberry. Stem 2 feet high, glabrous, 
round and glaucous, with leaves several times ternate ; flowers 
white in a short raceme, bearing red and shining berries, whose 
long pedicels are far smaller than the common peduncle ; flowers 
in May, and grows in damp woods. 

A. alba. Big. White Baneberry. Stem and leaves differ 
little from the preceding, but the raceme is less round, and longer ; 
berries clear white, tipped with red, and their pedicels equal in 
diameter to the common peduncle ; grows in the same places as 
the other, and flowers at the same time. Astringent. 

A. racemosa. L. Cohosh. Black Snakeroot. Stem 3-5 
feet high, smooth, with decompound, ternate leaves, and ovate- 
oblong, dentate leafets; racemes of white flowers, 6-10 inches 
long, and somewhat paniculate ; odor strong and fetid ; flowers 
in July. Strong medicinal properties ; cultivated in the gardens 
of the Shakers. 


Aquilegia. L. 12. 5. Columbine. 
A. Canadensis. L. Red Columbine. Stem a foot or more 
high, branching, smooth, with decompound leaves ; flowers red 
or yellowish, singular in form, pendant, with the stamens extend- 
ing a little from the flower, terminating behind in a straight horn, 
knobbed and sweet ; a beautiful plant, flowers in April and May, 
and should be cultivated for its beauty ; inhabits dry woods and 
fields, and rocky situations. Canada to Virginia. 

Jl. vulgaris. L. Is cultivated in gardens for its fine blue 
beautiful flower ; the horn or spur, terminating in the knob, is 
crooked. The power of cultivation has caused these flowers 
sometimes to become double, a hollow horn being enclosed in 
another. Exotic, from England. 

The seeds of this genus are said to be tonic. DC. Some 
insects get access to the sugar of the horn by inserting their tongue 
through an opening made into the tube. 

The genus is named from the aquiline or eagle-shaped form of 
the spur. 

Clematis. L. 12. 12. 

C. Virginiana. L. Virgin's Bower. From the Greek for 
a tendril. Loudon. 

This beautiful plant climbs and fastens itself by the twining of 
the leaf-stalks around branches of shrubs ; flower-stalks rise from 
the axils of the leaves, and bear a cluster of white flowers ; the 
fruit has long feathery tails, being the lengthened and enlarged 
style, and presenting a singular and beautiful appearance in ma- 
turity. Flowers in August ; spread over much of North Ameri- 
ca, in woods and low grounds. 

Atragene. L. 12. 12. 
A. Americana. Sims. " An elegant climbing vine, with 
large flowers. The stem gives off* opposite axillary buds, out 
of each of which proceed 2 ternate leaves, and a fine purple 
flower. Petals 4, oblong-ovate, ciliate, an inch or more in length. " 
Big. Flowers in June, and grows on the hills and in the valleys 


of Berkshire County. This species was taken from the pre- 
ceding genus, and formed into a genus by itself. 

Anemone. L. 12. 12. Windflower. 

From the Greek for icind, from its bleak localities. London. 

Three species ; two, nemorosa, DC, and thalictroides, L. ? 
small, delicate, beautiful ; flowering in April and May, about 
hedges and woods. 

A. Virginiana. L. This is a taller and coarser plant, in fields 
and pastures and hedges ; its stem dividing about a foot from the 
ground into 2, and sometimes more, flower-stalks, which bear 
a single whitish-green flower, and mature their fruit in a cylindrical 
head an inch or more long ; leaves are given off at this division 
of the stem, ternate, deeply lobed and hairy. Flowers in July ; 
fruit woolly. 

It is often said, in the western part of the State, that the In- 
dians made use of this plant to prevent the fatal effects of the 
poison of the rattlesnake. 

A. cylindrical. Gray. Stem 1-3 feet high, with subumbellate 
flower-stalks, each bearing one flower in a yellowish-green many- 
leafed flower-cup ; head of fruit an inch long ; leaves in 3 divis- 
ions ; the lateral segments 2-parted, and the middle one 3-cleft ; 
flowers in June ; collected near Boston by Mr. Greene. T. and 
Gr. in " Flora of North America." 

Coptis. Sals. 12. 12. 

C. trifolia. Sals. Goldthread. Named by the common 
people from its small, horizontal, creeping, bright-yellow roots, 
lying just under the surface; a flower-stalk bearing one white 
flower, rises from the root to the height of about 3 inches ; 
leaves radical and ternate, about as high as the flowers ; grows in 
swamps or low grounds, on banks, or around the roots of trees, 
and flowers from May to July. Roots bitter, and the infusion 
used for " apthous affections of the mouth." See Bigelow's 
" Medical Botany." The plant yields a yellow dye. Beck. 

Named from the Greek, to cut, on account of the divided leaves. 


Hepatica. W. 12. 12. 

H. triloba. W. Early Anemone. Liverleaf. From the 
Greek for liver, from the color of the leaves. 

Often misnamed Liverwort, which is a Marchantia, and very 
different from this Liverleaf. Flowers early in the spring, on the 
sides of sunny hills, and in sunny openings of woods, sending up 
a cluster of flower-stalks 3-4 inches high, hairy, and bearing 
each a single white, or blue, or purplish flower ; leaves from the 
root also, with petioles often longer than the peduncles of the 
flowers, and rather prostrate, divided each into three segments or 
lobes, rounded or acutish, and thus constituting the two varieties 
of obtuse and acute leafed Liverleaf, in their older state, of a 
fine liver-color. The plant flourishes well under bushes in gar- 
dens, in situations exposed to the sun. Flowers in April ; was 
taken from the genus Anemone. 

This plant has been supposed to possess high medicinal virtues, 
and is sometimes employed in pulmonary complaints. 

Thalictrum. L. 12. 12. Meadow Rue. 

Three species are found in the meadows and borders of 
woods, which resemble somewhat the Rue of the gardens at a 
little distance ; the leaves are beautiful, but the flowers are insig- 
nificant, and neither of the plants is of much consequence. T. 
dioicum. L., flowers rather earlier than T. cornuti, L. and T. 
corynellum, DC, and is rather larger than the latter. May and 

Named from the Greek, to grow green, from the change in the 
color of the leaves. 

Caltha. L. 12. 12. 

C. palustris. L. Cowslip. It is sometimes called Marsh 
Marygold, and is a well-known plant of wet places and slow 
streams. Stem a few inches high, with round, large, heart- 
shaped or kidney-form leaves, and bearing many deep-yellow 
flowers. The whole plant and flowers form one kind of common 
and early greens for the table in the country. Flowers in April, 
abundant. Several other species have been discovered in Arctic 


Named from the Greek, for goblet, as the corolla resembles a 
golden cup. Loudon. 

Ranunculus. L. 12. 12. 

This is an extensive genus ; forty-one species are ascribed to 
North America by Torrey and Gray in their " Flora " ; fourteen 
species are attributed to our Commonwealth by Professor Hitch- 
cock, in his " Geology of the State," p. 602. The flowers 
have a great resemblance to each other, while the appearance of 
the plants is considerably different. 

From the Latin for frog, as so many species grow about frog- 
ponds and the like places. 

R. acris. L. Buttercups. Crowfoot. This is a common 
plant, and in many places is a great nuisance in grass fields ; bears 
fine yellow flowers, of middle size, on a branching stem, with 
leaves much-divided, pubescent, or subglabrous. The plant, and 
the root in particular, contain a strong acrid principle, which 
disappears on drying. In its decoction seed-corn is sometimes 
soaked, to protect it from being pulled up by crows. Flowers 
from May to September. Root solid and fleshy, not large ; stem 
near 2 feet high. Flowers double by cultivation, and are some- 
times found double in their native state. 

R. bulbosus. L. Buttercups. A smaller plant, growing, 
like the other, in fields and road-sides ; similar bright-yellow 
flowers, glossy, and of a very rich hue ; much-divided leaves, 
somewhat hairy ; root more poisonous than the preceding, even 
caustic ; flowers from May to August. See Bigelow's " Medical 

R. abortivus. L. Small-flowered Crowfoot. Stem a foot 
high or less, with radical leaves, undivided, and heart or kidney 
shaped, crenate, or scolloped on the margin, with stem-leaves 
in 3 or 5 divisions ; small, unsightly, yellow flowers ; common in 
wet soils, in open woods or fields ; flowers in May. 

R. filiformis. Mx. This is a variety of R. reptans. L. Small, 


filiform stem, creeping, round, rooting at the joints, with linear 
and compressed leaves ; plant delicate ; flowers small. June. 

R. repens. L. Creeping Crowfoot. Grows in wet and 
shaded places, along streams, with flowers often larger than those 
of R. acris ; is a variable species, being erect or procumbent, 
often sending out creepers or runners a considerable distance ; 
leaves generally ternate, deeply cut, often pilose or hairy ; flowers 
bright yellow, with petals often emarginate, and calyx spreading. 
May to August. 

R. sceleratus. L. Celery-leafed Crowfoot. Stem smooth, 
glabrous, branching, succulent, a foot high, with lower leaves in 
3 segments, and upper ones sessile and cut down, linear and 
entire ; flowers yellow, numerous in a concave yellowish calyx ; 
very acrid, and may be used to produce blisters ; grows in wet 
places, and flowers in June. 

R. Jiammula, L. Small Spearwort. Stem smooth, de- 
clining, with lanceolate and entire leaves, and small, single, yellow 
flowers ; in ditches, rare ; found near Boston ; flowers in June, 
and supposed to be introduced. Big. May be used, like the 
last, to produce blisters ; but both are liable to create dangerous 
ulcers. Lind. 

R. aquatilis. L. Water Crowfoot. Stem chiefly under 
water, creeping, and sending out filiformly dissected leaves at 
the joints, with 3-6 inches of the end of the stem projecting 
from the water, bearing fine yellow flowers, and peltate, 3-parted 
leaves ; in pond-holes ; flowers in June. This corresponds 
with the plant of this name in Pursh's "Flora," and is a mere 
variety of the Linnaean species, and is probably the first variety 
of this plant in the " Flora" of Torrey and Gray, Vol. I. p. 
16. It may have been included in the following by Professor 

R. Jiuviatilis. L. River Crowfoot. Stem about a foot long, 
small, slender, sending out filiform leafets at the joints, floating 


in the water, and bearing its white, smallish flowers on the sur- 
face ; flowers in Jul)', running waters. This is a beautiful spe- 
cies, scarcely to be mistaken. It seems to be distinct from the 
preceding, with which it is ranked by Torrey and Gray, and from 
the following, which it no more resembles. This is the plant 
described by Dr. Bigelow in " Flor. Bost.," p. 227. 

R. multifidus. Pursh. Water Buttercups. In general ap- 
pearance, this plant greatly resembles R. aquatilis above, but the 
part projecting from the water, while it bears large, yellow, bright 
flowers, has no leaves, or the mere rudiment of a leaf at the 
joint. It is a larger, coarser plant than the others. For a good 
reason, it was named R. lacustris by Beck and Tracy ; but it 
seems not to belong to R. Purshii, Richardson. For preserving 
it a distinct species, there is good authority. Under the name 
abore, it is described in "Flor. Bost." p. 228. 

R. cymbalaria. Ph. Sea Crowfoot. Stem filiform, smooth, 
sending out stolons, rooting at the joints, with radical leaves reni- 
form, on long foot-stalks, and with crenate border ; flowers yel- 
low, petals spatulate ; grows on salt marshes. Big. 

R. Pennsylv aniens. L. Bristly Crowfoot. Flowers in Au 
gust in woods and meadows, and is a large, branching plant, 
covered with horizontal, hairy bristles, or is hispidly pilose, 1-2 
feet high. T. and Gr. It is well described in " Flor. Bost." Big. 

R. fascicularis . Muhl. Roots fascicled, fleshy ; stem short ; 
radical leaves ternate, and on long stalks, rather variously di- 
vided ; whole plant has a smooth, silky pubescence ; calyx vil- 
lous and spreading, and yellow inside ; flowers in April and May, 
and grows on dry, rocky hills. Big. 

R. hirsutus. Curtis. Rough Crowfoot. Whole plant hirsute, 
rough-hairy, branching, with leaves 3-lobed or ternate, with ob- 
tuse sections ; flowers whitish-yellow, in a reflexed calyx ; grows 
in wet fields, and is in flower in July. 


The species of Ranunculus have been thus fully described, as 
they are relatively common plants, and most of them spread over 
the State. They have few interesting properties, and, like very 
many others, are not employed to any very beneficial purpose. 

Delphinium. L. 12. 2. Larkspur. 

Five or six species are cultivated in the gardens, for their 
beauty. The Bee Larkspur bears a flower which has, at a little 
distance, a striking resemblance to a bee. Some of these species 
are not found in common gardens, and have not been introduced 
many years. 

Aconitum. L. 12. 5. 

A. napellus. L. Monk's Hood, is often found for orna- 
ment in gardens. The bright, glossy, green leaves, and singular 
flower, make it a beautiful plant. Strong, acrid property. Named 
from a town in Bithynia, where it grows, viz. Acona. Loudon. 

Another species is also seen, but more rarely ; fine palmate 
leaves, and flexuous or zigzag stem. 

NlGELLA. L. 12. 5. 

*/Y. Damascena. L. Fennel-flower, with its white or light- 
blue flowers, surrounded by a large, pinnate, and much-divided 
involucre, and covered with its similar leaves, is a fine plant for 
gardens ; its large capsule resembles a rattle-box. 

As the stamens have short filaments, and are below, and re- 
moved from the pistil, the styles bend over, and bring down their 
stigmas in contact with the anthers, so as to receive the pollen and 
be fertilized. This contrivance is palpable to every observer, 
and illustrates one particular in vegetable physiology. 

The black color of the seeds gives name to the genus, from the 
Latin for black. The seeds of this and some other species, are 
used to adulterate pepper. Loudon. 

Adonis. L. 12. 13. 
A. autumnalis. L. Pheasant's Eye. Is so named from 
its coral-red flower ; and often called Soldier-in-green, from 
its fine bright-green foliage, terminated by a scarlet corolla. 


Some of this genus are employed as emmenagogues. The plant 
was fancied to have sprung up from the blood of the wounded 
Monis. Loudon. 

P^onia. L. 12. 3. Peony. 

P. officinalis. L., is the well-known Peony of our gardens. 
As the flower becomes double, or the stamens change into petals, 
by cultivation, it is admired for its large head of petals, as well as 
for its fine foliage. It is a hardy plant, finding safe winter quarters 
in its large tuberous roots, from which it rises early in the spring. 
The root is said to be acrid and bitter, and antispasmodic (Lind.) ; 
but the two former properties are slight in its cultivated state. 
It is sometimes grated and given as a stomachic. 

Named after Pozon, a physician of antiquity, who used it in 
medicine. Loudon. 

Many of the species are splendid ornaments of the greenhouse. 


Calyx 2-leafed, or having 2 sepals, deciduous, with corolla 
of 4 petals, or some multiple of 4, and many hypogynous 
stamens ; germ or ovarium single, without a style, or having only 
a short one, containing numerous seeds. The plants contain a 
milky or yellow juice ; leaves divided ; flowers not yellow. 

The poisonous properties of this order are well known. It 
does not contain a great many plants, and a large proportion are 
found in Europe ; a few in our country. The appearance of a 
milky juice in plants should always lead to caution in the use of 
them. Opium, the substance formed from the juice of some 
plants of this order, is from the Greek for juice. 

Chelidonium. L. 12. 1. 

C. majus. L. Celandine. Stem two feet high, with pinnate 
leaves, pale-green, and rather glaucous ; flowers yellow, in a 
sparse umbel, and their parts fall off prematurely ; a bright- 
yellow juice abounds in all parts of the plant, unless the seed is 
an exception ; grows about yards and fences, and flowers in 


May and June, perennial. Big. It was doubtless introduced, 
and has become naturalized. The seeds are crested, and dis- 
posed in a silique-like capsule. Named from the Greek for swal- 
low, as flowering when that bird appeared ; the English seems to 
be a corruption of that word. Loudon. 

Sanguinaria. L. 12. 1. 
S. Canadensis. L. Bloodroot. Named from the red juice 
of its root, from the Latin sanguis, blood ; bears a single 
white flower on a stem 6-8 inches high, and sends up radical 
leaves beautifully lobed, and glaucous underneath ; calyx falls off 
with the full expansion of the flower ; flowers in April, about dry 
woods and hedges ; root horizontal, fleshy, zigzag, sending off 
many radicles, whose bud at the end contains the plant of the 
next year, a careful dissection of which shows the flower and leaf, 
and even the stamens, by a small magnifier. Strong medicinal 
properties, emetic, cathartic. See Bigelow's "Medical Botany." 

Papaver. L. 12. 1. Poppy. 

P. somniferum. L., the common poppy of the gardens, cul- 
tivated merely for ornament, as a general fact, in our country. 
The well-known drug, opium, is obtained by incisions of the 
stem and fruit-vessel ; the white juice becomes dark-colored on 
exposure to the air, and seems to contain three important sub- 
stances. The narcotic principle, which produces sleep, is called 
morphia ; the stimulating power seems to depend on its vegetable 
alkali, called narcotine ; it also contains meconic acid, called from 
the Greek name of poppy, which is combined with the morphia 
as a vegetable alkali. As a medicine, in the hands of the skilful 
physician, opium, and the preparations from it, are of the highest 
consequence ; as a drug, used by the people to produce intemper- 
ance, as in China, &c, its use becomes a tremendous evil. 
Seeds oily and healthful ; oil is procured from them for adulterat- 
ing olive oil. Lind. The plant is said to have been used 
by Theophrastus, three hundred years before the Christian era, 
for its power as an anodyne. 

P. rhozas. L., is a smaller plant possessing similar properties, 


partially naturalized about some gardens and fields. This species 
is so named from the Greek, to flow or fall, on account of its 
fugacious flowers. 

Note. The following three orders were arranged with the 
preceding by Jussieu, and, though associated with it in location, 
it does not appear evident in what place they should be fixed. 
They have even been arranged in the class of Endogenae. The 
subject has been long debated, and not satisfactorily settled ; the 
whole shows the imperfection of the Natural Method, and what 
advances are still to be made in it. 


Calyx many-leafed, and corolla many-petaled, passing gradually 
into each other ; stamens many, standing on a large fleshy disk, 
and around the many-seeded ovarium or germ ; herbaceous, with 
thick, cordate leaves, or peltate, on a long foot-stalk growing from 
a prostrate trunk, in still waters. 

The few plants of this order are spread over the northern hem- 
isphere. The stems have a bitter, astringent principle, and the 
plants are ranked among the sedatives, slightly narcotic. The 
order is named from the first genus, a name from the Greek for 

NYMPHiEA. L. 12. 1. 

JV. odorata. Ait. White or Sweet Water Lily. A well- 
known aquatic ; leaves round, heart-shaped, floating on the 
water by their long petioles ; flowers on long, flexile foot-stalks, 
with numerous white petals of a very sweet odor ; grows in 
ponds, and flowers in July ; medicinal. See Bigelow's " Med- 
ical Botany." 

A beautiful variety of this, with petals of a rosy tint, is culti- 
vated at the Botanic Garden in Cambridge. 

Nuphar. Sm. 12. 1. Yellow Water Lily. 
•AT. advena. Ait. Another aquatic, sending its bright-yellow 
flowers and thick leaves to the surface ; petioles semicylindrical ; 


sepals or leaves of calyx 6, and petals numerous, and stamens 
many, all standing round a large, furrowed, and ovate germ, con- 
taining many seeds ; stigma peltate and large, sessile, circular, 
with a crenated or undulate border. JV\ lutea, Sm., is said to be 
confounded with this species. Beck. 

JV. kalmiana. Ait., is probably only a smaller variety of one 
of the preceding species ; found by Mr. Boott in Sudbury River, 
and flowers in June. 

This genus seems not to possess any interesting characters or 
properties. Some animals will eat the roots of some of the 
species. Nuphar seems to be the Arabic name of the plant 
slightly altered, from Naufar. Loudon. 


Stamens many, hypogynous ; ovaries 2 or more, style short ; 
calyx 3 or 4-leafed, and colored ; standing alternately with as 
many petals. Only one species of this order in our State, and 
only two anywhere ; both American plants, and aquatics, not 
known to possess any valuable properties. 

Hydropeltis. Mx. 12. 12. 
H. purpurea. Mx. Water Shield. Takes its name from 
its fine, flat, elliptical leaf, floating on the surface of water, 
and attached by its centre to the long leaf-stalk, woolly on the 
under side, and smooth and shining on the upper ; bears dark 
purple flow r ers, on a long stem, from the side of a leaf-stalk ; 
flowers in July ; whole plant covered with a gelatinous sub- 
stance. Ponds ; as on Taconic Mount. 


Sepals 3 or 4, often deciduous ; petals several, around the 
hypogynous stamens ; germ single, with a single nearly sessile 
stigma ; the enlarged germ becomes succulent, or coriaceous, 
many-seeded ; leaves large and lobed. This order is composed 
of American plants ; only two species, and only one north of 


Podophyllum. L. 12. 1. 

P. peltatum. L. May Apple, or Mandrake. Stem a foot 
high, dividing into 2 large and lobed peltate leaves, with one 
flower from the fork of leaves ; the fruit becomes large, juicy, 
pleasantly acid, and is often eaten ; spread over much of the 
State, but less abundant than in the States west and south. 
Flowers large and white ; May or June ; grows in rather damp 
woods, not in marshes. Medicinal ; Bigelow's " Medical Botany." 

A gentleman left Georgia in the last of March, when this plant 
was in flower, and as he travelled leisurely northwards, found this 
plant in flower in all his tour ; when he reached the western part 
'of our State, on the last of May, it had just begun to show 
its blossoms. The genus is named from the Greek for foot and 
leaf from the form of the leaf and its foot-stalk. 


Sepals and petals 4, alternating, and each cruciform, or in 
opposite pairs ; stamens 6, one pair opposite and shorter, the 
4 longer in 2 opposite pairs ; ovarium superior ; stigmas 2, united 
as one ; fruit a short or long silique or pod ; leaves alternate ; 
flowers generally yellow ; herbaceous. 

Plants of this order abound in the temperate zone of Europe ; 
they are relatively few in North America, and fewer still in the 
New England States. 

The properties are stimulant and antiscorbutic ; in some there 
is considerable acridness in different parts of the plant ; some 
are healthful and nutritious as food. The order is named from 
the position of the parts of the flowers opposite each other, so 
as to form a cross, in Latin crux. 

Sinapis. L. 13. 2. 
S. nigra. Sm. The common Mustard. This was introduced, 
and is naturalized in many places. The culture of the plant for its 
seed is said to be very profitable. As a vegetable for greens, in its 
young state, it is highly esteemed, and would be thought far pref- 
erable to Spinach, if it were equally well known. The seeds 
have various medicinal uses. 


S. alba. L. White or Yellow Mustard, has a great resem- 
blance to the other, but is different, and more rarely cultivated. 

From the Greek name of the plant of nearly the same sound ; 
mustard is from the Latin for hot must. Loudon. 

Erysimum. L. 13. 2. 

E. officinale. L. Hedge Mustard ; grows about gardens, 
and beside fences ; resembles mustard, but is a smaller and more 
diffusely branched, and more rough and ragged in its appearance. 
Stem 2 feet high, and leaves runcinate, or lion-toothed ; flowers 
from June to September. Its properties of little value. Sup- 
posed to be healthful, and named from the Greek, to cure. 

Thlaspi. L. 13. 2. 

T. bursa-pastoris. L. Shepherd's Purse, so plentiful about 
gardens and in roads and fields, is known by its triangular, wedge- 
form, obcordate capsule, and its radical leaves pinnatifid. April 
to October. Introduced. 

T. campestris. L. Yellow Seed. Found in the fields, and 
especially among flax, with the seed of which it was probably 
brought from Europe ; its capsule is inflated and obcordate ; 
stem-leaves dentate and sagittate ; flowers in June. 

Both species are mere weeds ; from the Greek, to compress, 
from the flattened fruit or seed. Loudon. 

Raphanus. L. 14. 2. 

R. raphanistrum. L. Cudloch. Wild Radish. A very 
troublesome plant in cultivated fields, rough, bristly, glaucous, 
with lyrate leaves ; stem two feet high ; flowers in August ; in- 
troduced, but naturalized in the woods of Chelsea Beach Island. 

R. sativus. L. Radish ; cultivated for its root, of various 
forms, taper -form, turnip, &c, and used as a relish, from its 
pleasant spicy taste. 

From the Greek, for rapidly appearing, on account of its rapid 
growth. Loudon. 


Lepidium. L. 14. 1. 

L. sativum. L. Peppergrass ; well known in the gardens, 
its many-cleft leaves forming a pleasant relish ; exotic, from 
Europe. The resemblance of the capsule to a scale, gives name 
to the genus. 

L. Virginicum. L. Wild Peppergrass. Stem branching, a 
foot high, with some pinnate leaves, and upper ones long and 
tapering ; much resembles the garden plant ; grows in light soil, 
and flowers in June ; silicle or pod is lentiform ; stamens often 
only two. 

COCHLEARIA. L. 14. 1. 

C. Jlrmoracea. L. Horse Radish ; naturalized in many 
places, cultivated for its root ; leaves large and long and wide. 
Named from a word for spoon, from the spoon-like depressions in 
the leaves. Loudon. 

C. officinalis. L. Scurvy Grass. Cultivated occasionally in 

Camelina. Crantz. 14. 1. 

Its name imports dwarf-flax ; a genus of few species, belonging 
to Europe. The seed-vessel is a roundish pouch, with swelling 
valves, and cells many-seeded. 

C. sativa. DC. Gold of Pleasure. Cultivated occasionally 
in England for the oil of its seeds, and has lately appeared in the 
eastern part of this State. Stem about 2 feet high, branched ; 
flowers small, numerous, yellow, corymbose ; pouch long-pedi- 
cillate ; leaves roughish, lanceolate, and sagittate ; fields ; June. 
The plant has been introduced for some time into the Middle 

Cakile. L. ]4. 1. 

C. maritima. Nutt. American Sea Rocket. Grows along 
the seashore ; stem flexuous, deep-green, smooth, with leaves 


fleshy, sinuate, toothed, caducous ; flowers in July ; grows near 
Boston, and on Cape Ann; see Bunias^ in Bigelow's " Flor. 
Bost." p. 251. Common in Europe. 

Cardamine. L. 14. 2. 

C. Pennsylvanica. W. Water Cress. Stem about a foot 
high in fruit, with smooth pinnate alternate leaves, and small 
white flowers ; growing out of water, and beside water, or in 
wet places ; pleasant spicy taste, and used by common people 
as a cress ; flowers in June. 

Dr. Beck unites C. Virginiana, L., and the plant named above, 
under C. hirsuta, L. It certainly is very difficult to find the 
distinctions of the three species. The variety called C. virginica, 
W., is found in Berkshire County. 

C. teres. Mx. Credited to the vicinity of Amherst College ; 
is of little consequence, though interesting to botanists. 

The genus is named from the Greek, for heart- strengthener, on 
account of its stomachic qualities. Loudon. 

Sisymbrium. L. 14. 2. 

The Greek name of an unknown plant. Loudon. 
S. amphibium. L. Water Radish. A coarse plant with 
small yellow leaves, growing in wet places, and flowering in June. 

S. nasturtium. L. English Water Cress. With pinnate 
leaves, introduced from England. 

Barbarea. L. 14. 2. 
B. vulgaris. R. Br. Winter Cress. Stem 1 -2 feet high, 
branching ; leaves wing-like, and much-divided, and the terminal 
division roundish, upper leaves undivided and dentate, and the 
root leaves green through the winter ; sand and gravel of banks 
of streams ; with yellow flowers ; May and June. Sometimes 
called Water Rocket. 

Brassica. L. 14. 2. 
Derived from the Celtic name of cabbage. Loudon. 


B. napus. L. Kale. Naturalized in a few places ; leaves 
smooth, upper being heart-shaped and long, clasping. Native of 
England and Holland. 

B. rapa. L. Turnip. Excellent as food for man and cattle ; 
the several kinds are varieties. Cultivation has shown that new 
land, or just cleared, is not essential to the production of the 
finest turnips ; native of England. 

B. ruta-baga. Extensively cultivated as rich food for cattle, 
being produced in great quantity compared with other articles 
raised on equal land. It is commonly considered only a variety 
of the following, but is made a variety of B. campestris by De 

B. oleracea. L. Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower. Of too 
much use not to be known. The varieties are many, and culti- 
vated with considerable ease ; cabbage is, perhaps, the most 
sure crop. Introduced from England. 

The introduction of the turnip into cultivation in England, is 
the era from which their modern agriculture is dated. Its culture 
deserves special attention. 

Cheiranthus. L. 14. 2. Wall Flower. 

Several species are cultivated in the gardens, or in pots, for 
their flowers. Their beauty is too well known to need remark. 

The generic name is from the Arabic name for a plant with red 
and sweet flowers. Loudon. 

Draba. L. 14. 1. 

D. verna. L. Whitlow Grass. Leaves radical, oblong, 
acute, hairy ; flower-stem 2-3 inches high, ending in a raceme 
of white flowers ; flowers in April and May, in the fields. 

Dentaria. L. 14. 2. Tooth-root, Pepper-root. 

D. diphylla. Mx. Stem about a foot high, sends off 2 
ternate leaves, and a raceme of white flowers ; grows in open 
woods, and flowers in May. 


D. laciniata. W. Stem is scarcely as high as the other, and 
sends off 3 ternate leaves, or 3 leaves divided into 3 segments, 
linear, and somewhat toothed, with reddish white flowers in a 
raceme ; grows in woods, and flowers in May. 

Both these are rather beautiful plants. 

LUNARIA. L. 14. 1. 

Two species are cultivated for their flowers ; one bears its fruit 
in a flat, oval, or roundish pod, of singular appearance, and an 
inch in diameter ; flowers bluish and purple. 

Iberis. L. 14. 1. Candy Tuft. 

A species with whitish flowers has been long cultivated as edg- 
ing for aisles in gardens and walks. Another beautiful variety, 
with purple flowers, is becoming common. Native of Spain, 
Tuscany, &c. So called from Iberia, the ancient name of Spain. 

Arabis. L. 14. 2. 

Five species are credited to this State. 

A. falcata, Mx., which is A. Canadensis, L., is named from 
the shape of its pod, flat and curved like a scythe, and called 
Sicklepod. Stem 2 or more feet high, round and small, with 
sessile leaves ; flowers in woods, in June. 

A. rhomboidea. Ph., has fine rhomboid leaves on the stem, 
and heart-shaped ones at the root ; flowers white ; grows on wet 
meadows, Roxbury. Blossoms in May ; root tuberous and fari- 
naceous. Big. 

A. hastata. L. Hairy Tower Mustard ; has the general ap- 
pearance of common mustard, though it is a much smaller plant. 

A. thaliana. L. Wall Cress ; is a small plant about six 
inches high, branched ; radical leaves on petioles ; stem leaves 
sessile and few ; flowers white in a corymb ; on hills, and blos- 
soms in May. 

Of the other species, A. hirsuta, Sm., there is some doubt, 
which cannot be solved at present. 


Isatis. L. 14. 1. 
/. tinctoria. L. Woad, so valuable for its blue coloring 
matter ; is supposed to be little cultivated in this State. The 
leaves at the root are crenate, on the stem arrow-form. Named 
from the Greek, to render equal, from its supposed power to 
smooth the roughness of the skin. Used to color the skin of the 
ancient Britons and Picts, from which they were named. Loudon. 

Hesperis. L. 14. 2. 
H. matronalis. L. Garden Rocket. A fine plant in the 
gardens, and, when its flowers become double, it is thought quite 
handsome ; a native of Lake Huron, and sometimes called 
Dame's Violet. 

H. tristis. L. Yellow Rocket, is less cultivated than the 
other ; stem hispid and branched ; flowers handsome. 

The genus is named from the Greek for evening, as the flowers 
are then more fragrant. Loudon. 

ORDER 10. FUMARIACEJE. Fumitory Tribe. 

Two deciduous sepals ; 4 cruciate petals, sometimes so united 
as to appear one, or only 2 united, cohering at the apex, and 
inclosing the anthers and stigma ; stamens 6, often in 2 sets, 
rarely separate ; ovarium superior, and one-celled ; leaves much- 
divided, often having tendrils, commonly alternate ; herbaceous. 

The plants have not much odor, but a watery and not milky 
juice, and are said to be diaphoretic and aperient ; but they are 
not used for these properties. Only a few genera, and not numer- 
ous species, belong to this order, and these are scattered over the 
northern temperate zone. 

The fecundation of the Fumariaceae shows special contrivance. 
While the anthers are confined by the corolla, and the pollen seems 
unable to reach the style, the stigma projects two blunt horns, 
one of which passes to each of the two sets of anthers, so as to 
secure the pollen as it exudes from the anther, or is forced out by 
the contractions of the anther. 


Fumaria. L. 16. 6. 

F. officinalis. L. Fumitory. Introduced from Europe, but 
growing about gardens and fields ; rather handsome, glaucous, 
pinnate leaves, red or crimson flowers, seed in a pouch or pod ; 
stem a foot or more high ; flowers in July. Annual. 

On account of the disagreeable smell, named from the Latin 
for smoke. Loudon. 

Corydalis. Vent. 

The Greek name of Fumitory. Loudon. 

C. cucullaria. Pers. Colic Weed. Bears a cluster of white 
flowers closed at the top, on radical and leafless white stems about 
six or eight inches high ; leaves radical, much-divided into leafets, 
delicate green, slightly glaucous ; blooms in May, along hedges 
and light woods ; root bulbous, or a collection of small solid tubers. 

C. glauca, Ph., and C. formosa. Ph., are both beautiful plants 
of the woods, and might ornament any garden ; flower in May. 

C. fungosa. Pers. Climbing Colic Weed ; has already been 
introduced from our woods into the gardens and yards, where it 
climbs or follows the trail placed for it often twenty feet in length, 
forming fine arches and arbours, and bearing numerous clusters of 
whitish or flesh-colored flowers ; the corolla has a spongy mass 
inside, as if one petal. Stem, climbing by tendrils, and full of 
flowers ; blossoms in July. 

The species have suffered much in their names, which have 
been repeatedly changed. 

ORDER 11. CAPPERIDEiE. Caper Tribe. 

Monosepalous or polysepalous, four divisions, and as many 
petals cruciate ; stamens definite or indefinite, rarely tetradyna- 
mous, commonly many, mostly perigynous ; ovary on a short 
stem ; leaves various and inflorescence also ; some are herba- 


Cleome. L. 6. 1. 
C. dodecandra. L. Stem branched, viscid, pubescent, strong 
odor, ternate leaves, and purplish white flowers in a raceme ; 
pods swollen, hairy viscid ; blossoms in June, in sandy places. 
Narcotic, anthelmintic, emetic, cathartic. 


Sepals or leaves of calyx, 3 to 6, deciduous, having scales 
around them ; petals once or twice as many as sepals, hypogy- 
nous, with an appendage inside at the base ; stamens opposite the 
petals, and of equal number with them ; single 1 -celled ovary ; 
shrubby, or herbaceous, with compound leaves. Only one herba- 
ceous genus belongs to our State. 

Leontice. L. 6. 1. 

L. thalictroides. L. Poppoose Root, and False Cohosh. 
Stem a foot or more high, with a single, much-divided leaf, 
and having 2 - 3-lobed leafets ; flowers small and yellowish- 
green ; sepals and petals each 6, and a scale at the base of the 
petals ; berries deep blue ; blossoms in April and May ; in dry- 
ing, the plant becomes black ; it is dark-colored in its younger 
state. Is the Caulophyllum of Mx. 

The other genus is the Barberry, so well known for its red, 
finely acid berries. 


Calyx generally divided into 5 parts, sometimes 3, or 4, or 5 
sepals, more or less united at the base, often with a surrounding 
one or more leafed involucre ; hypogynous petals, usually 5 ; 
anthers mostly very numerous, with their filaments monadelphous, 
or in one set ; many fruit-vessels, united round a common axis, 
and each bearing a style, form the ovarium ; leaves alternate ; 
some of the plants herbaceous, and contain much mucilage ; used 
as emollients ; natives of the torrid and warm temperate zones. 


Althaea. L. 15. 12. 

A. officinalis. L. Marsh Mallows. Found on the seacoast 
in salt marshes, with a strong, erect stem, two feet high ; thick- 
woolly, and leaves cordate and soft-downy on both sides ; entire, 
or 3-lobed ; large purple flowers ; blossoms in August ; probably 

A. rosea. L. Common Hollyhock. Well known in our gar- 
dens ; flowers red, white, yellow, very dark-brown. Within a 
few years the column of stamens has changed into small petals, 
arranged into three or more stellate sets, and adding much to the 
beauty of the flower. Leaves heart-form. 

A. ficifolia. L. Fig-leafed Hollyhock, has leaves some- 
what palmate in 7 lobes. 

Hibiscus. L. 15. 12. 

H. palustris. L. Marsh Hibiscus. Grows about salt marsh- 
es ; stem 3-5 feet high, erect, downy, with ovate and dentate 
leaves, soft-downy beneath, and whitish ; flowers large, purple ; 
outer calyx of numerous divisions ; inner calyx of 5 sections ; 
blossoms in August ; on Charles River. Big. The fibres of 
the bark are strong, and are wrought sometimes into cordage. 

Several exotic species are cultivated for ornamental plants, as H. 
Moscheutos, W., H. Syriacus, L. ; H. Trionum, L., or Bladder 
Ketmia, Flower of an Hour, is a common species in the gardens. 

Malva. L. 15. 12. 

M. rotund i folia. L. Low Mallows. Has a prostrate stem, 
with roundish and cordate leaves ; flowers white and reddish-white, 
pedicelled ; grows in fields, and especially about houses ; blossoms 
from June to October, and is common everywhere, being like 
catnep, motherwort, &c, one of the attendants of man in his 
habitations in temperate climes. 

M. sylvestris. L. High Mallows. Somewhat naturalized, 
growing for years without any cultivation ; stem 4-6 feet high, 

f 1 MALVACEAE. 43 

and hairy, with large roundish leaves, about 7-lobed, and with 
reddish purple flowers on short pedicels ; blossoms in July, in 
fields and gardens ; introduced. 

M. crispa. L. Crisped or Curled Mallows, whose leaves 
are so beautifully crisped, light-green, and angular ; whitish flowers, 
smaller than the preceding ; cultivated in gardens, like the other, 
for its mucilaginous leaves ; supposed to be useful in poultices. 
The bark is sometimes formed into cordage. 

M. moschata. L. Musk Mallows. Is the beautiful mallows 
of the gardens, with delicate white flowers, and yielding an odor 
so greatly resembling musk, when faintly but clearly perceived ; 
can scarcely be said to be naturalized. Its snow-white flowers 
recommend it to the eye of taste. 

Probably other species may be cultivated in some parts of the 

Sida. L. 15. 12. 
& abutilon. L. Indian Mallows. Stem 2-5 feet high, 
with large, roundish, cordate leaves, woolly ; flowers on short 
petioles, yellow or orange-colored ; grows on the sides of roads 
and in waste fields, and blossoms in July ; introduced, but fully 

Lavatera. L. 15. 12. 

L. arborea, L., Tree Mallows, and L. Thuringiaca, L., 
are cultivated for ornament. They afford beautiful flowers ; 
named after the celebrated Lavater ; the former being a native of 
England, Spain, and Africa, and the latter of Germany, Hun- 
gary, &c. 

Malope. L. 15. 12. 

M. malacoides. L. Smooth Mallows. Introduced from Tus- 
cany and Barbary ; resembles the preceding, but its outer calyx is 
3-leafed, and that of Lavatera is 3-parted ; flowers of both much 
alike, light rose-colored. Some beautiful species are cultivated 
in the greenhouse. 


Gossypium. L. 15. 12. Cotton. 
G. herbaceum. W. The common Cotton plant was intro- 
duced from India or Africa ; at the north it is cultivated for orna- 
ment and curiosity in gardens ; stem about 2 feet high, bearing 
large white flowers, with its seeds involved in long wool. Its 
history belongs not to the botany of Massachusetts. 

Other exotic genera are cultivated in the greenhouse. 


Outer floral envelope divided, monosepalous, or of 4 or 5 se- 
pals, including 4 or 5 petals, hypogynous ; stamens many, in- 
definite, hypogynous, often in 3 or more sets ; leaves not 
always opposite ; flowers commonly yellow ; some of the order 
are herbaceous. 

Hypericum. L. 12. 5. 

H. perforatum. L. St. John's Wort. A well-known plant 
in neglected and barren, sandy fields ; stem 2 feet high, branched, 
and bearing many yellow flowers for a considerable time ; leaves 
opposite, with many dots over the surface, as if they had been 
'perforated by a needle. 

Eight other species, angulosum, Mx., ascyroides, W., Cana- 
dense, L., Corymbosum, L., cystifolium, Lmk., parviflorum, 
W., sarothra, Mx., Virginicum, L., are credited to this State, 
and some of them are rather common ; but, with some striking ex- 
ceptions, they have little beauty, and have not any useful applica- 
tion. Another species has lately been found near Boston. Tuck- 
er man. 

H. ellipticum. Hooker. Stem a foot or more high, with el- 
liptic, obtuse leaves an inch long, and cyme nearly naked. 

ORDER 38. SAXIFRAGES. Saxifrage Tribe. 

Calyx divided sometimes to the base into 4 or 5 parts ; pe- 
tals none, or 5, between the divisions of the calyx ; stamens 


5 or 10, perigynous or hypogynous, as the calyx is above or 
below the germ or ovary, which is commonly composed of 2 
carpels and their lobes, terminated by the sessile stigma ; leaves 
simple ; herbaceous. 

Saxifraga. L. 10. 2. 

S. Pennsylvanica^ L., Water Saxifrage, and S. Virginien- 
515, Mx., Rock Saxifrage, are named from their usual habitations ; 
the former grows two feet high, bright-green ; the latter is much 
smaller, and flowers very early in the spring. Their properties 
are of little consequence. 

Parnassia. L. 5. 3. 

P. Caroliniana. Mx. Parnassus Grass. The English name 
is a great absurdity, as no part of the plant resembles any of the 
grasses. Stem a foot or more high, with a single ovate leaf in 
the middle, and several oval leaves at the root ; flowers white, 
petals longer than the calyx ; 5 nectaries of 3 threads ending in 
yellow heads, alternating with the stamens ; blossoms in August, 
and grows in wet meadows and beside cold streams ; plentiful 
in Berkshire County, and found also in the eastern counties. 

Chrysosplenium. L. 10. 2. 

C. Jlmericanum. Hooker. A small, creeping, succulent 
plant, about springs and brooks, with 8 stamens commonly ; 
leaves opposite, roundish, and narrowed to the petiole ; flowers 
in April, with scarlet anthers ; dignified with the name of Golden 
Saxifrage ; of no obvious use. 

Hooker considers this plant as different from the European, 
C. oppositifolium, L., which name had been given to it. 

MlTELLA. L. 10. 2. 

M. diphylla. L. False Sanicle. Has its flowers on a stem 
about a foot or less high, in a raceme, with 2 opposite leaves, 
and having radical leaves on bristly petioles, cordate, dentate, and 
lobed ; flowers small, white, delicate, their 5 petals being 
beautifully pinnatifid, standing on the calyx ; grows abundantly in 
moist woods, and blooms in June. 


*M. cordifolia. Mx., has a rather shorter stem, with only one 
leaf or none, but with cordate, lobed, and crenate leaves at the 
root ; sometimes creeping by suckers ; petals beautiful, like the 
other ; grows in rocky, moist places, and flowers in June. 

TlARELLA. L. 10. 2. 

T. cordifolia. L. Mitre Wort. Resembles the preceding 
in its leaves and stem ; flowers yellowish-white in a long raceme ; 
grows in woods with M. diphylla ; of delicate appearance, but no 
useful application. 

Reseda. L. 12. 3. 

R. odorata. L. Mignonette, is a common exotic of the 
gardens, a finely-scented plant. A much taller variety, without 
odor, is also cultivated for its beauty, R. frutescens. 

R. luteola, L., Dyer's Weed, is merely noticed as rarely 

ORDER 46. CACTEJE. Indian Fig Tribe. 

Sepals and petals numerous, usually indefinite ; stamens in- 
definite, somewhat cohering to the petals ; ovary inferior, 1 -celled ; 
style filiform ; fruit succulent ; leaves wanting, or fleshy, smooth, 
entire or spine-like. 

Cactus. L. 11. 1. 

A genus of succulent plants, various and singular in structure, 
commonly leafless. Many species are cultivated in the hot- 
houses, on account of their singular form, and the beauty of their 

C. opuntia. L. Prickly Pear. Named from the town Opus, 
in Greece. It is a well-known exotic. Nantucket. T. A. 

ORDER 47. ONOGRARLE. Evening Primrose Tribe. 

This includes 4 genera, and nearly a dozen species in our 
State. The plants of this order belong to temperate climes ; 
and possess no very interesting or useful properties. 


Calyx superior, tubular, with a 4-lobed division ; petals inserted 
on the throat of the calyx, and equal to the divisions of the calyx ; 
stamens definite ; style single, with a capitate or 4-lobed stigma ; 
leaves simple, alternate or opposite. 


CE. biennis. L. Scabish. Tree Primrose. Stem 3-5 
feet high, villous and scabrous ; flowers yellow, in a terminal 
spike, with obcordate petals ; leaves ovate-lanceolate, alternate, 
pubescent ; found in fields, and flowers from June to Septem- 
ber. Roots farinaceous. 

CE. fruticosa. L. Sundrop. Rather shrubby, was found by 
T. A. Greene, at Plymouth. 

CE. pumila. L. Low Scabish. Is common over dry fields. 

CE. grandiflora. Ait. Garden Scabish. A native of the South- 
ern States, is cultivated for its flowers ; much resembles the first. 

ISNARDIA. L. 4. 1. 

/. palustris. L. Water Purslane. Stem prostrate, creeping, 
smooth, with opposite and ovate-lanceolate leaves ; flowers single, 
axillary, without corolla ; grows in wet places and pools, and 
blossoms in June. Has a slight resemblance to common Purslane. 

/. alternifolia. DC. Seed Box. Stem 2 feet high or more, 
branched, smooth ; leaves lanceolate, alternate, slightly scabrous 
on the margins and under side ; flowers axillary and single ; 
capsule roundish-obovate, 4-angled, and winged ; grows in swamps, 
and flowers in July. 

Epiloeium. L. S. 1. 

E. spicatum. Lam. Sweet Willow Herb. Stem 3-6 feet 
high, leafy, round, smooth, branched above, ending in a raceme 
of many flowers ; leaves linear-lanceolate and veined ; flowers 
purple, with irregular petals ; grows along woods and moist 
hedges, and blossoms in July. This is a very showy plant. 


Seeds crowned with a silky down. Would form a fine plant 
for the garden. 

The four other species, coloratum, and lineare, Muhl., molle, 
T., palustre, L., have few attractions. 

Gaura. L. 8. 1. 
G. biennis. L. A showy plant with terminal spikes of sessile, 
dark rose-colored flowers on a hairy, purplish, herbaceous, erect 
stem, with alternate, lanceolate, toothed leaves. Differs from 
an Epilobium in the tube formed by the calyx being obovate, and 
the seeds having no pappus. Found by G. B. Emerson in 


So called from the genus Haloragis, which grows in the eastern 

Floral envelopes minute, superior ; stamens inserted, with the 
petals, on the calyx, which is permanent on the ovary of one or 
more cells ; leaves of various positions ; flowers axillary, sessile, 
some are monoecious, or dioecious. Have no important proper- 
ties ; some are mere weeds ; spread widely over the earth. 

Myriophyllum. L. 20. 12. 

M. spicatum. L. Spiked Water Millfoil. Stem long, rising 
through the water, and projecting the spike of whorled and naked 
flowers above the surface ; leaves immersed, whorled, capillary- 
pinnate ; 3 bracts to each flower, the middle one largest ; petals 
oblong, obtuse, brownish-green, caducous ; flowers in July and 
August ; grows in ponds and deep still waters. 

M. tenellum. Big., is found at the pond in Tewksbury. 

M. procumbens. Big., found at Danvers by Dr. Nichols. 

Both these species were investigated by Dr. Bigelow, are 
rather small and singular plants, and grow in the mud of ponds. 

M. verticellatum. L. Water Millfoil. Grows also in water, 

LOASE.E. 49 

with whorled pinnate leaves, and the terminal spike leafy ; flowers 
in July. The flowers are sometimes perfect. 

M. ambiguum. Nutt. Floating Millfoil. Stem 2-4 feet 
high, erect, floating in large collections, dichotomous ; immersed 
leaves capillary, emerged leaves pectinate ; flowers axillary, soli- 
tary, sessile ; blossoms in July ; found near New Bedford. 

Proserpinaca. L. 3. 3. Mermaid Weed. 

Two species, P. palustris, L., and P. pectinata, Lam., grow 
in wet grounds, and round marshy places ; the former has lanceolate- 
linear leaves, and the latter pectinate leaves ; flower in July and 

Another genus, Hippuris, closely related to Myriophyllum, and 
found in the State of New York, is probably yet to be detected 
in our ponds. It is called Mare's Tail, from its peculiar form. 


Calyx tubular, with a 2-parted limb, deciduous ; petals 2, and 
stamens 2 on the calyx ; ovary inferior and 2-celled ; leaves 
opposite and toothed ; flowers in racemes. No valuable proper- 
ties. Only one genus. 

Circea. L. 2. 1. Enchanter's Night Shade. 

Two species, Jllpina, L., and Lutetiana, L., are common in 
moist places along hedges, in rather cold soil, and loving shaded 
places. They have received an English name, as if they had 
some importance ; common to Europe and America. 

Named after Circe, the famous enchantress of old. 


A 5-parted calyx, with 5 or 10 petals ; stamens indefinite ; 
style 1 ; ovary superior or inferior ; herbaceous, hispid, with 
pungent hairs, secreting an acrid juice ; peduncles axillary, 
1-flowered. No known properties, and nothing remarkable, ex- 



cept the stinging hairs of some species. Only two genera of the 
order in this country, and one in this State. 

Centaurella. Mx. 4. 1. 

C. paniculata. Mx. Screw Stem. Stem 4-8 inches high, 
square, slender, somewhat twisted, branched, smooth ; leaves 
minute, subulate, alternate below ; flowers small, greenish-white, 
on the ends of the branches ; grows in meadows, and blossoms in 

ORDER 52. SALICARLE. Loosestrife Tribe. 

Monosepalous divided calyx, with petals between the divisions, 
deciduous, or wanting ; stamens rise from the side of the tube of 
the calyx below the petals, and from 1 to 4 times as many ; style 
filiform, rising from the ovary, superior ; generally herbaceous, 
with branches often 4-sided ; flowers axillary, or in terminal 
spikes or racemes ; leaves usually opposite. The properties 
are strangely diverse, astringent, vulnerary, venereal, diuretic, 
vesicatory, coloring, and dyeing. Belongs to temperate regions. 

Lythrum. L. 11. 1. 

L. verticillatum. L. Swamp Willow Herb. Stem 2 feet 
high, rather woody towards the base, with opposite lanceolate 
leaves, or in threes, and fine purple spreading corolla of 5 or 6 
petals on the calyx ; blossoms in August, and grows in swamps ; 
often called Grass-poly, and is a fine plant ; short-lived flowers. 

L. salicaria. Ph. Willow-leafed. Supposed to be a rare 
plant, but has been found near New Bedford. 

L. hyssopifolium. L. Hyssop-leafed. Has a stem a foot or 
more high ; in low grounds ; flowers purple ; handsome. 

Ammannia. L. 4. 1. 
A, humulis. Mx. A procumbent plant, with nearly sessile 
leaves, tapering at the base, and with small, red, sessile flowers, in 


the axils of the leaves ; flowers in August ; grows in wet mead- 
ows ; not attractive enough to get an English name. 

Cuphea. Jacq. 11. 1. 
C. viscosissima. Jacq. Calyx tubular and ventricose, 6 - 12- 
toothed ; about 6 petals ; stem a foot and more high, erect, 
branching ; flowers lateral, solitary, purple ; hills and wet 
grounds ; found in Pittsfield, Berkshire County, by Dr. G. White. 
It is an annual plant, very viscid ; blooms in September. 


Calyx 4-6-lobed ; petals equal in number to the divisions 
of the calyx, and rising from their base ; once or twice as many 
stamens as petals ; ovary attached somewhat to the calyx, of 
several cells, containing innumerable minute seeds ; leaves op- 
posite, usually entire ; flowers in a terminal thyrse ; some her- 
baceous. One genus in this country. Slight astringency belongs 
to the order : the fruit of many is succulent and eatable, and of 
some, colors the mouth black, w 7 hich gives name to the order. A 
great many species are contained in this order, but they belong 
chiefly to the tropics, 78 to India and the Indian Archipelago, 12 
to Africa and its islands, and 620 to America ; and only 14 are 
found out of the tropics, and of these 8 belong to the United 
States. Lindley. Only one genus belongs to the Northern States, 
and only one species to this State. 

Rhexia. Brown. 8. 1. 
R. Firginica. L. Deer Grass, Meadow Beauty. Stem a foot 
high, square, membranous on the angles, somewhat hairy, with 
sessile, ovate-lanceolate, ciliate, smooth leaves ; flowers purple, 
large, in dichotomous corymbs ; flowers in July, and grows in 
wet meadows. Has no important properties, but great beauty, 
and is well deserving cultivation. 

ORDER 62. ARISTOLOCHLE. Birthwort Tribe. 

Calyx tubular, superior, having 3 segments, and no corolla ; 
ovary with 3-6 cells, and 5-10 stamens, epigynous, or upon 


the germ, many-seeded ; leaves alternate ; flowers axillary, soli- 
tary, of a dull color ; some are herbaceous. 

Tonic, stimulant, anthelmintic, antarthritic, alexipharmic, evac- 
uant, antophthalmic, emetic, are the properties belonging to the 

Common in equinoctial America ; sparingly found in the tem- 
perate zones. 

Aristolochia. L. 18. 6. 

A. serpentaria. L. Virginia Snakeroot. This plant grows 
in shady woods in the Southern States, from Pennsylvania to 
Carolina ; stem flexuous ; oblong and cordate leaves ; flowers 
purplish brown on a radical peduncle ; blossoms in June. The 
roots are highly medicinal. Bigelow's " Medical Botany." 
Cultivated by the Shakers. Of this genus, 47 species have 
been described. 

Asarum. L. 18. 10. 

A. Canadense. L. Wild Ginger, White Snakeroot. Stem- 
less ; from the root arise two kidney-form, broad, and round 
leaves, pubescent on both sides, and with hairy petioles ; a 
single flower rises between the leaves, and close to the ground, 
having a woolly calyx of several deeply-parted segments, on a 
short peduncle ; root creeping, fleshy, partially jointed ; blossoms 
in May, and grows in woods. The roots have a pleasant aro- 
matic taste ; medicinal. Bigelow's u Medical Botany." 

Another species is found in the South, and one in Canada, while 
only one is ascribed to England and other parts of Europe. 


So named from the genus, Santalum, whose species belong to 
India and New Holland. 

Calyx 4 or 5-cleft, with stamens opposite the segments of 
the calyx ; ovary inferior, 1 -celled ; style 1 ; leaves alternate, 
or mostly opposite, undivided ; flowers generally in spikes ; rarely 
solitary or umbelliferous ; small. Few properties of interest. 

In New Holland, the East Indies, &c, the plants of this order 


are large trees or shrubs ; in Europe and North America, they 
are weeds. 

Thesium. L. 5. 1. 

T. umbcllatum. L. False Toad Flax. Stem about a foot 
high, round, erect, branching a little, with alternate, entire, 
sessile, mucronate leaves, oblong-ovate ; flowers in a corymb, 
white ; blossoms in July, on rocky hills, and in dry woods. Said 
to be slightly astringent. 

The other genus of this order in our State, contains trees, as 
Nyssa, the Pepperidge, or Tupelo Tree. 


Flowers often declinous, or stamens and pistils in separate 
flowers; calyx tubular, 4-5-lobed, without petals; stamens 
definite, usually alternating with the lobes of the calyx, and stand- 
ing round the style which rises solitary from the ovary ; leaves 
alternate, with stipules ; flowers small ; often in heads ; some of 
the order are herbaceous. Astringent and tonic ; it is rather too 
late in the history of beauty, to repeat the assertion of F. Hoff- 
man, that a decoction of Alchemilla vulgaris, will restore "faded 
beauty to its earliest freshness." Lindley. 

The plants of this order are spread widely over the world. 

Sanguisorba. L. 4. 1. 

S. Canadensis. L. Burnet Saxifrage. Stem 2-4 feet high, 
with pinnate leaves, and long cylindrical spikes of white flowers ; 
grows in wet meadows ; blossoms in August. 

Another species is ascribed to the Northern States. 

Poterium. W. 4. 1. 
P. sanguisorba. L. Burnet. A plant too well known to 
need description ; cultivated for its beauty and pleasant-flavored 
leaves, with an angular stem nearly 2 feet high, and leafless, 
and bearing a head of not very showy flowers ; a native of Eng- 
land, and the South of Europe. 


JHchemilld) another genus of this order, found on the high 
mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, is, perhaps, yet to 
be found on the mountains of Massachusetts. 

ORDER 73. ROSACEA. The Rose Tribe. 

Calyx 4 or 5-lobed, with 5 equal petals ; stamens numerous, 
on the calyx and within the petals ; ovary superior, 1 or more, 
1-celled ; leaves simple or compound, alternate, and with 2 
stipules at their base. 

All the rosaceous plants and their fruits are healthful. They, 
or some of them, are used for their astringency, or as a febrifuge, 
or for tanning, some for their fruits as food, some as tonic and 
emetic, others as anthelmintic ; a list of very different properties. 
They are very beautiful plants, and are widely diffused over the 
temperate and cool parts of the northern hemisphere. The order 
is large, and contains more than forty species in this State, besides 
the exotics of the family. 

Rose is from an Armorican word, meaning red, the common 
color of the flowers. 

Rosa. L. 11. 12. 

R. corymbosa. Ehrh. Swamp Rose. Stem 3-8 feet high, 
prickles none, or else recurved, with leathery leaves, pinnate, 
5-7 leafets, and long stipules ; flowers somewhat in corymbs ; 
fruit commonly hispid ; petals large, red, emarginate ; flowers in 
June, in swamps. 

R. lucida. Ehrh. Grows about ponds and borders of marshes, 
3-6 feet high, shrubby, w T ith entire segments of calyx, spread- 
ing, appendaged ; flowers large, with emarginate petals, red ; 
blossoms in July or August. It flourishes well in yards and 
gardens, and, as it blossoms after all the other species have 
dropped their flowers, and continues to blossom for a considerable 
time, it forms a valuable addition to our flowering ornamental plants. 

R. parviflora. Ehrh. Small-flowered. This seems to be R. 
Caroliniana, Mx., a small and handsome rose of the woods, rather 
shrubby ; blossoms in June. 


R. micrantha. Sm. Has very small ichite flowers on a bush 
often 6 feet high. Big. It is not found in the western part 
of the State. Resembles the following in odor, but the flowers 
are smaller. 

R. rubiginosa. L. Sweet Brier, Eglantine. The fine odor 
of the leaves and flowers makes this species, rough as it is, with 
its strong recurved prickles, a great favorite ; it is easily cultivated, 
and commonly thought to be introduced from Europe. Its per- 
fectly wild state, in the fields and along hedges in the north part 
of Berkshire County, has led me to doubt its importation into 
that part of the State. 

Several species of the rose have been introduced, and are found 
in many gardens and yards. 

R. Gallica. L., from France, the low bushy rose, with large 
bright-red flowers, and the only one cultivated for many years in 
the western part of the State. 

R. Damascena. L. Damask Rose. From the South of Europe. 

R. cinnamomea. L. Cinnamon Rose. From the South of 

R. muscosa. L. Moss Rose. 

R. moschata. L. Musk Rose. From Barbary. 

R. semperflorens. L. Monthly Rose. From China. 

R. pimpinellifolia. L. Burnet Rose. From the South of Eu- 
rope, with its small leaves and stems, and abundance of flowers. 

R. alba. L. White Rose. Delicate, from Europe. 

R. Burgundiaca. L. Burgundy Rose. From Europe. 

R. multijlora. L. Japan Rose. From Japan. 


The rose has for ages been a favorite plant for ornament. 
About 50 species have been described, and cultivation has pro- 
duced numerous varieties. More than 500 varieties and species 
are contained in the London catalogues, and, at Rouen, nearly 
double this number is enumerated. Loudon. Doubtless far more 
than those above mentioned are found in the more expensive 
flower-gardens in this State. 

The flowers of the rose, or of several species, are valuable in 
medicine. For this purpose, the abundant flowers of the cinna- 
mon rose, and of others, are picked. Of this species, about thirty 
varieties are sold in Europe. Rose-water is a well known prepa- 
ration. The Rubifolia from Canada and the Lakes, and the 
Cherokee from the South, are amongst the most desirable native 
species now cultivated. The Boursault, the muUiflora, the 
JBanksce, the Lamarck, are among the most beautiful European ; 
and there are numerous varieties introduced from China, Rosa 
Indica, which have added much to the value of a family already 
so rich. 

POTENTILLA. L. 11. 12. 

P. tridentata. L. A small, rather beautiful species of 
cinquefoil ; stem 3-8 inches high, nearly erect, dichotomous ; 
leaves ternate-palmate, thick and leathery, with obovate leafets, 
3-toothed at the summit ; flowers white, small ; grows on Wa- 
chusett and Hoosac Mountains. The bald summit of Taconic 
Mount is covered for a considerable distance with it. It is found 
also in the valley near the College in Williamstown, probably 
from seed brought down from the mountain. 

P. Norvegica. L. Hirsute, erect, dichotomous, 8-16 
inches high, with leaves shaped like the preceding, but toothed, 
and rough-haired, and yellow-flowered ; blossoms in June, in 
old fields. 

P. Canadensis. L. Five-finger. Spread over the fields, 
with a stem often procumbent and running, sometimes erect ; re* 
sembles the strawberry at a little distance ; leaves quinate-palmate ; 
yellow flowers ; blossoms from April to July. 


P. argentea. L. Silvery Cinquefoil. A handsome, erect, 
white-tomentose, silvery-looking plant, near a foot high ; leaves 
quinate-palmate, obovate, revolute on the margin ; flowers yellow ; 
June, in fields. 

P. simplex. Mx. Running Cinquefoil. Is also P. sarmentosa, 
Willd., and has a running stem and hairy, with quinate leaves, and 
yellow flowers ; spread over fields, and much like P. Canadensis. 

P. anserina. L. Silver Weed. Creeps among the grass by 
its hairy reddish stem, with pinnate leafets, of a fine silvery ap- 
pearance beneath, and solitary yellow flowers on long peduncles ; 
blossoms in June, and grows on salt marshes near Boston. 

P. fruticosa. L., and P. floribunda. Ph. Woody Cinque- 
foil. Mere varieties of the same plant ; woody, branching, 
often 4 feet high, sometimes much less ; yellow terminal flowers 
of long continuance ; pinnate leaves ; blooms in June ; grows on 
the margin of ponds in marshy situations, and on cold upland 
tracts. A handsome shrub, and mentioned here with most of the 
herbaceous species. 

P. confertijlora, Torrey, or Bootia sylvestris, Big. Stem 2 
feet high, erect, stiff, round, furrowed, with upper leaves simple 
or ternate, and radical leaves pinnate ; petals white, roundish, and 
flowers partially corymbed ; blossoms in June ; whole plant 
covered with hairy down ; found at Deerfield, and in Berkshire 

P. palustris. Scop. Marsh Cinquefoil. Known commonly 
as Comarum palustre, L., has a stem 18 inches high, ascend- 
ing, but not erect, with leaves divided into 3, 5, or 7 leafets, 
oblong, serrate, and whitish beneath ; flowers in June. I found 
it near a pond-hole in Stockbridge, half a mile north of the 
church ; found also near Boston. 

Note. Cinquefoil ', of French origin, is five-leafed ; and, when 
finger-like leafets appear, it is called five-finger. 


Geum. L. 11. 12. 

G. rivale. L. Avens Root, or Water Avens. Pubescent, 
stem simple, erect, about 2 feet high, with a few nodding flowers, 
dark-colored ; radical leaves lyrate, with a large-lobed terminal 
leafet ; calyx reddish brown, closely erect, confining the veined 
yellowish petals ; fruit with long feathery awns ; blossoms in June, 
grows in wet meadows. Supposed by the common people to 
possess valuable medicinal properties. 

The two other species of Geum, Strictum, Ait., and Virgin- 
ianum, L., grow in woods and swamps, or along banks of streams, 
but are of little importance. 

Agrimonia. L. 11. 2. 
A. eupatoria. L. Agrimony. A hairy plant of 2 feet in 
height, with leaves interruptedly pinnate ; flowers in a spike long 
and hairy, scattered and yellow ; grows by fences and hedges, 
blooms in June ; astringent and tonic. 

Fragaria. L. 11. 12. Strawberry. 

F. Virginiana. L. Common Strawberry. Its short stem, 
white flowers, and agreeable fruit, are well known. It is con- 
sidered by Linnaeus as a spurious berry, as the seeds project from 
the enlarged and fleshy receptacle. It is one of the most de- 
licious of our native fruits. 

F. Canadensis. Mx. Mountain or Woods Strawberry. This 
is larger than the other, the leafets broader, the peduncles 
longer and recurved, pendulous, while in the other only the 
berry is pendulous ; berry longer and tapering, and less finely fla- 
vored. Woods and hills. 

F. vesca. L. Garden Strawberry. Remarkable for sending 
out its runners ; introduced from England, and several varieties 
cultivated for the large delicious fruit. It is singular that some 
of the plants bear barren flowers, blossom abundantly, but bear no 
fruit. It becomes necessary to destroy them, and replace them 
by the fertile variety. 


Note. On the hills of Washington, in the east part of Berk- 
shire County, a ic/u7e-fruited strawberry is abundant in the fields, 
sought for from its sweetness, though it has not quite so fine a 
flavor, or rather has a weaker flavor than the common red straw- 
berry. The leaves are somewhat villose, and the plant may be a 
permanent variety of F. Virginiana. Those fields have long pro- 
duced this variety. 

Dalibarda. L. 11. 12. 
D. repens. Lam. Has a rooting and creeping stem, and cor- 
date, crenate leaves, on long petioles ; peduncle nearly radical, 
long, bearing one white flower ; seeds in the dry receptacle ; 
blossoms in June, on hills ; Greenfield and Princeton. 

D. fragarioides . Mx. False Strawberry. Much resembles 
the common strawberry at a little distance ; bears ternate leaves, 
toothed, ciliate, smooth ; radical peduncle, bearing a few yellow 
flowers ; blossoms in June ; woods and hedges ; common in 
Berkshire County. 

Rubus. L. 11. 12. 
R. occidentalis. L. Black Raspberry. Fruit much valued. 

R. strigosus. Mx. Red Raspberry. Fruit larger than that 
of the preceding, and more richly flavored. There are two va- 
rieties in the woods, differing in their fruit, the one being red, 
and the other reddish brown, or a much darker color. 

R. villosus. Ait. Blackberry, High Blackberry. A tall, 
large, prickly plant, bearing racemes of white flowers ; berries 
fine and wholesome ; the root yields a decoction considered to be 
healthful in dysenteric affections ; for medicinal properties, see 
Bigelow's "Medical Botany." 

R. trivialis. Mx. Running Blackberry, Dewberry. Char- 
acterized by its name, bears large black berries, very excellent 
when fully ripe. 


R. saxatilis. Mx. Stone Raspberry. Grows a foot high, 
and is an annual plant ; the preceding are perennial. 

R. odoratus. L. Flowering Raspberry. Distinguished by its 
large purple flowers, and its large, 5-lobed, and serrate leaves ; 
flowers in June, in woods and hedges. Often cultivated for its 
beauty. Fruit is large, but sour, and is not sought for. 

R. setosus. Big. Bristly Raspberry. Grows in swamps. 

R. frondosus. Big. Probably a variety of R. villosus. 

R. Canadensis. L. A small creeping plant, in woods and 
swamps, bearing small, dark-red, pleasant berries. 

R. obovalis. Mx. Hispid with stiff hairs, ternate leaves, 
few-flowered ; black and sweet berries, with only a few large 
grains ; blossoms in June ; grows in mountain swamps. 

All the species of Spiraea are woody, and belong to the shrubs, 
where they will be described. 

ORDER 77. LEGUMINOS,E. The Pea Tribe. 

Calyx divided into 5 parts more or less deeply, often unequal, 
and the odd segment before, with 5 petals or less, or none, in- 
serted at the base of the calyx, papilionaceous, or regularly spread- 
ing ; the odd petal behind ; stamens perigynous, monodelphous, 
diadelphous, or distinct ; ovary superior ; fruit a legume or drupe ; 
leaves alternate. This order is known generally by either its 
papilionaceous flower, or its legume, commonly called pod, like 
that of the pea and bean ; one of these is sometimes wanting, or 
rather exchanged for another form of corolla, or pericarp. Some- 
times there is a rosaceous flower and leguminous fruit. Lindley. 

This is a very important order ; it is a large one. The irrita- 
bility of some of the family, as the sensitive plant, is wonderful 
and inexplicable. The plants are widely spread over the earth, 
and some yield important articles of food. Many of them are 


trees of great beauty or use, or both ; some yield important dye- 
stuffs ; some are poisonous, while most have a wholesome char- 
acter. Some are tonic, or stimulant, or astringent, or emetic, 
vesicatory, or cathartic, &c. Several yield important gums, bal- 
sams, extracts. About 280 genera belong to the order, and con- 
tain within the torrid zone 1602 species, and north of the torrid 
zone, 1312 species, and south of the tropic, 524 species. Many 
of the most interesting, are unknown in temperate climates ; 236 
species are ascribed by Torrey to North America. All our 
plants of this order, have papilionaceous flowers ; calyx with dis- 
tinct divisions ; and stamens around the pistil. Many are beautiful. 

Amphicarpa. Ell. 15. 10. 
A. monoica. Nutt. Pea Vine. Has a hairy, twining, slender 
stem, and purple flowers ; leaves ternate, with ovate leafets ; the 
racemes of petalous flowers are sterile, and the radical apetalous 
flowers fertile ; woods, July. 

Apios. Ph. 15. 10. 
A. tuberosa. Moench. Ground-nut. A twining plant, often 
many feet long, with leaves pinnate, having 5-7 leafets ; keel 
of the corolla falcate ; flowers in racemes, dense, axillary, dark- 
purple ; root tuberous, pleasant to the taste, raw or roasted ; 
blossoms in July ; woods. When the seeds have fallen from 
their capsules, the opened and colored fruit-vessels have a 
beautiful appearance, and are sometimes used with ground pine 
in decorations. 

Baptisia. Vent. 10. 1. 

B. tinctoria. Br. Wild Indigo. Stem 2-3 feet high, 
very branching, very smooth, with ternate leaves ; calyx 2-lipped, 
stamens deciduous, flowers 5-petalled, nearly equal, in racemes ; 
in drying, the plant turns black, or rather blue ; woods, in a light 
soil ; July. Astringent, antiseptic, emetic, cathartic. 

Cassia. L. 10. 1. 

Sepals scarcely united ; stamens 10, free, unequal in length, 
and the 3 upper ones abortive ; 5 unequal petals. 


C. Marylandica. L. Wild Senna. Stem 3-4 feet high, 
erect, branched, smooth, with pinnate leaves in 8 or 9 pairs of 
leafets ; large yellow flowers in axillary racemes, almost a panicle 
towards the summit ; narrow, compressed legume ; blossoms in 
June, grows on banks of streams, or in moist places, in open 
fields. Medicinal. See Bigelow's " Medical Botany." 

Two other species, chamcecristct) L., and nictitans, L., are 
smaller and handsome plants, of little consequence. 

Crotalaria. L. 15. 10. 
Calyx 5-parted, sublabiate, lower lip 3-cleft ; large cordate 
standard ; united filaments, and swollen, inflated legume. 

C. sagittalis. L. Rattle Box. Stem a foot high, erect, 
branched, variable pubescence ; simple oblong-lanceolate leaves, 
with decurrent stipules ; 3-flowered racemes opposite the leaves, 
and yellow corolla ; seeds rattle in the inflated, mature legume ; 
blossoms in June, grows in dry grounds and sandy woods. 

Genista. Lam. 15. 10. 

Calyx 2-lipped, upper 2-parted, lower 3-toothed or 5-di- 
vided ; standard oblong-oval, and keel straight ; stamens in one 
set, with a flat legume. 

G. tinctoria. L. Dyer's Weed. This plant yields a fine 
yellow color, and may have probably been introduced ; some- 
what shrubby ; stem a foot high, much branched, and the upper 
part covered with small, yellow, nearly sessile flowers ; leaves 
lanceolate smooth ; blooms in July ; has covered the hills south 
of Salem. Big. 

Medicago. L. 15. 10. 

M. lupulina. L. Nonesuch. Introduced, and found in fields 
about Boston ; said to be useful as fodder for sheep ; stem pro- 
cumbent ; flowers in racemed spikes, with yellow petals ; legumes 
reniform ; fields, June to August. 

M. scutellata. L. Cultivated in gardens for its beauty ; 


matting on the ground ; legume twisted in a spiral form, like a 
flat snail-shell. There maybe other species cultivated, which are 
less common. 

Lupinus. L. 15. 10. 

Stamens all united ; legume leathery, swelling at the seeds ; 
calyx deeply 2-lipped ; keel acuminate. 

L. peren is. L. Common Lupine. Sun Dial. Perennial, 
often growing in splendid clusters ; stem a foot or more high, 
erect, hairy, bearing large blue flowers, in a fine raceme or spike ; 
leaves digitate, 8 or 9 leafets, oblong, mucronate, villous beneath ; 
blossoms in May, in the light soil of open woods. It has 
long been cultivated for ornament in gardens. To it have been 
added several other species, exotics, within a few years ; as 
L. albus, L., the white-flowered lupine ; L. hirsutus, L., the 
rough-leaved with blue floicers ; L. roseus, L., the red-flowered; 
and L. luteus, L., the yellow. 

Phaseolus. L. 15. 10. 

P. trilobus. Mx. Bean Vine. Stem prostrate, twining, 
somewhat hairy and scabrous ; 2 - 3-lobed ovate leafets ; pe- 
duncles bear a head of flowers ; banner spreading, reddish-white, 
keel slightly twisted, and tipped with purple ; legumes linear ; 
blossoms in July ; South Boston. Woods. Stamens diadelphous. 
Used by Indian doctors as a cooling, sedative, antibilious tonic. 

Several species of Phaseolus are cultivated for the beans, and 
are of great consequence. 

P. nanus. L. Bush-bean. Several varieties. The small 
white field-bean is a great favorite. 

P. vulgaris. L. Pole-bean. Many varieties, of which the 
kidney-bean is fine. 

P. lunatus. L. Lima-bean. A very rich seed, requiring long 
and warm summers, and favorable exposure, to ripen. 


P. multiflorus. L. Scarlet Pole-bean. Has a splendid ap- 
pearance in flower. 

Pisum. L. 15. 10. 

Segments of calyx leafy, 2 upper shorter ; stamens 9 in one 
set, and 1 in the other ; standard large, reflexed ; style com- 
pressed, villous above ; legume compressed, not winged ; seeds 
round, many. 

P. maritimum. L. Sea Pea. Found on marshes about salt 
water in the vicinity of Boston, and described by Dr. Bigelow 
as a Lathyrus ; it is probably the above plant of Linnaeus. Stem 
4-sided, compressed, glaucous ; leaves pinnate, with 5-8 ovate 
or rounded leafets, with arrow-shaped stipules ; flowers 6-8, in 
a raceme, showy, blue and purple ; legumes oblong, with globular 
seeds ; blossoms in May to July. 

P. sativum. L. Common Pea. A great many varieties 
are cultivated ; some of those in the gardens are rich and luscious ; 
the field-pea is an important article as the food of hogs, and in 
the composition of provender for horses, cattle, &c. The seeds 
of more than twenty varieties are sold in some of the seed stores. 

Lathyrus. L. 15. 10. 

L. palustris. L. Marsh Wild Pea. Stem lax, winged, 
smooth, supported by grass or other plants, with pinnate leaves 
in 3 pairs of leafets, oblong, mucronate ; peduncles long, bearing 
a few purple flowers ; blossoms in June, in wet meadows or low 
grounds, in the vicinity of Boston. Big. 

L. odoratus. L. Sweet Pea. Cultivated for its beauty 
and odor. 

Other species are not uncommon in gardens. 

Vicia. L. 15. 10. 
V. cracca. L. Tufted Vetch. Has a stem slightly pubes- 
cent, branching, square, slender, with pinnate leaves of many 
pairs of leafets, oblong and mucronate ; the peduncles bear long, 


crowded, recurved racemes of small, pale-purple, drooping flowers ; 
blossoms in July, in meadows, and along fences. Maiden, Cam- 
bridge. Big. A native of England. 

V. sativa. L. Common Vetch. Tare. This is the com- 
mon tare of wheat fields ; resembles a pea, but is more slender, 
and its leaves are narrower, lanceolate, and in 5 or 6 pairs of 
pinnate leafets ; valves of the legume twist about each other 
in a peculiar manner as the seeds fall out. Probably intro- 
duced. This is often supposed to be the tare of the Bible, but 
the evidence is rather doubtful. Native of Britain. 

V. pusilla. Willd. Slender Vetch. A very slender plant, 
with minute bluish-white flowers, on a square stem, with linear, 
very obtuse and small leafets ; blooms in July ; South Boston, 
along fences. Big. A native of Britain. 

V. faba. L. Garden Bean, Windsor Bean. With an erect, 
many-flowered, strong stem, supporting oval and entire leafets 
of ternate leaves. Introduced from Egypt ; a great many va- 
rieties are cultivated. 

Tephrosia. L. 16. 10. 

T. virginica. Ph. Goat's Rue. Stem a foot high, erect, 
round, with 8-12 pairs of oval-oblong pinnate leafets, and a 
terminal odd one ; variegated, handsome flowers, in a short ter- 
minal raceme ; legumes falcate, compressed, linear, many-seeded ; 
grows in dry sandy woods, or barrens, and blooms in June. 
The whole plant is villous, or pale downy, and the root is slender, 
tough, and long, and popularly called catgut. Big. Appears 
to be spread widely over the United States and Canada. A very 
beautiful plant, well deserving of cultivation. 

Dolichos. L. 16. 10. 

D. pruriens. L. Cowitch or Co wage. Rarely cultivated, 
though it is sometimes seen in gardens ; does not reach maturity 
in Berkshire County, although the irritating hairs on the pods, by 
which it is useful in certain diseases, are pretty fully grown. 


Trifolium. L. 16. 10. Clover. 

Some cultivated species, of great consequence in agriculture, 
are well known, and fully naturalized. Trifolium means three- 
leafed, a general character of the species. 

T. pratense. L. Red Clover. Originally from Britain. 

T. repens. L. White Clover. Originally from Britain. 

T. arvense. L. Hare's Foot, Rabbit Foot. Grows on dry, 
hard soil ; small, pubescent. 

T. procumbens. L. Yellow Clover. Has yellow flowers, on 
a spreading stem 3-6 inches high ; probably introduced, and not 
very widely extended. 

T. agrarium. L. Woods Clover. Bears small yellow flow- 
ers on long peduncles, with leaves nearly sessile ; woods and 
fields ; blossoms in June. 

A species, sometimes called Russia Clover, is a fine border 
grass, and may prove valuable. 

T. officinale. L. Melilot. The yellow flowered, and the 
white, both finely scented, are often cultivated in gardens. The 
white grows naturally along the borders of the marsh in South 
Boston, Big., and is sparingly naturalized in some other places. 
It is said to make good hay for horses. 

The usefulness of the red clover for hay, and of the white for 
pasturage, is too great to be more than alluded to. 

T. incarnatum. W. Italian Clover, is proposed for culti- 
vation, as a valuable plant. Grows about 2 feet high, with 
roundish ovate crenate leaves, and an oblong villous spike of 
flowers. It requires to be cut early for hay. It has been already 
used as a grass for borders. This species is said to be a native 
of Italy. Loudon. 


T. medium. L. Zigzag Clover. Distinguished by its zig- 
zag stem ; has been found by Mr. Oakes, naturalized on hills in 

Lespedeza. Mx. 16. 10. 

Was named in honor of Lespedez, governor of Florida, who 
protected Michaux in his botanical researches. Loudon. The 
plants are of little consequence either for use or beauty ; belong 
generally to North America. Eight species of the dozen, are 
credited to this State ; grow chiefly in open woods or hedges. 

L. capitata. Mx. Bush Clover. Has a soft-hairy, and very 
leafy stem, about 2 feet high ; ternate hairy leaves, oblong 
and mucronate ; flowers in rather clustered or head-like racemes ; 
somewhat woody ; blossoms in August and September. 

L. polystachya. Mx. Hairy Bush Clover. Is rather more 
woody, more hairy, with ternate leaves, roundish, and racemes of 
flowers, axillary, exceeding the leaves in the length of their hairy 
foot-stalks ; September ; woods. 

L. angustifolia. Ell. Has been found by T. A. Greene at 
Plymouth, in sandy woods, 3-4 feet high, with very narrow 
leafets, villous below. 

L. prostrata. Muh. Trailing Clover. 

L. procumbens. Mx. Running Bush Clover. Has a slender, 
pubescent stem, 2-3 feet long, and purple flowers in rather long 
racemes, and ternate, roundish leafets; beautiful; blossoms in 

L. sessiliflora. Mx. Has ovate, reticulated legumes, and an 
erect, simple stem, 2 feet high, and very narrow leafets, with 
violet-colored flowers ; August ; sandy or dry woods. 

L. violacea. Pers. Is a handsome species, with violet flowers, 
mostly in pairs, numerous, in racemes somewhat umbel-like ; stem 
long and slender ; dry woods ; flowers in August. 


L. reticulata. Nutt. Different from L. reticulata, Pers., 
which is L. sessiliflora above ; stem simple, erect, stiff, with 
oblong-linear leafets ; blossoms in August. 

Hedysarum. L. 16. 10. 

Named by Linnaeus from the sweet odor of some of the flowers. 
It was formerly a more extensive genus, and embraced most of 
the species of the preceding Lespedeza ; it contains now about 
50 species, of which near 20 are found in this country, and 11 
are credited to this Commonwealth. In general, the plants are 
of little importance. In appearance, they are not very beautiful, 
and may be called singular. One species is the Saintfoin of Eu- 
rope, considered in France and England as highly valuable in 
agriculture as hay, growing on light and chalky soils, being 
profitable as a crop on good soils for about ten years. It is to be 
seen whether this may not be a valuable grass for cultivation in 
New England, if it can endure the climate. 

H. Canadense. L. Bush Trefoil. Stem 3-4 feet high, erect, 
hairy, with ternate leaves, and oblong-lanceolate leafets ; racemes 
terminal and axillary, of purple flowers ; joints of the legumes 
oval, obtuse, hispid ; blooms in July, in dry w T oods. 

H. bracteosum. Mx. Has a stem 3-5 feet high, with ter- 
nate leaves, near the middle, having ovate and acute leafets, and 
a long panicle of flowers. 

H. acuminatum. Mx. Has a pubescent stem 3-6 feet 
high, with a panicle of flowers often 2 feet long, and, along 
the stem, ternate leaves, with ovate, acuminate, and hairy leafets, 
and the odd one roundish-rhomboidal ; purple flowers ; blossoms 
in July. 

H. rotundifolium. Mx. Has a prostrate, hirsute stem, with 
fine-flowered racemes ; in rocky woods. 

H. humifusum. Muhl. Is prostrate, but smoother than the 
preceding, and the leafets less round, or more ovate. 


The other 6 species, ciliare, N., cuspi datum, W., nvdi- 
jlorum, L., obtusum, Muhl., paniculatum, L., viridijlorum, L., 
resemble these, but scarcely need a particular description. Both 
H. bracteosum and H. cuspidatum have a little of that spontane- 
ous motion of the leaves, for which H. gyrans, from the Ganges, 
is so wonderfully distinguished, and for which no cause has yet 
been discovered. Is it not possible, that this undulating agitation 
may be owing to the varying temperature or moisture, or both, of 
slight currents or vibrations of the air ? Great sensibility to one 
or both of these particulars, and especially to that of heat, might 
produce the agitations of the leaves, sometimes in one part and 
not in an adjacent one, as well as in parts more remote from each 
other. Even confinement in a large glass case might not be able 
to prevent altogether the action of very acute sensibility. This 
action in our species is very small compared with that of the In- 
dian plant, which is in almost constant agitation over more or less 
of its leaves. 

ORDER 78. URTICEiE. Nettle Tribe. 

Flow 7 ers without a corolla, monoecious or dioecious, with a per- 
sistent divided calyx, into which the stamens are inserted ; ovary 
superior, simple ; fruit a simple dehiscent nut ; leaves alternate, 
often covered with pungent hairs ; some are heroaceous. 

The fibres of the bark are often strong, and valuable for cor- 
dage. Some are narcotic, and stupefying, and poisonous. The 
plants are spread over all climates and countries ; some grow T in 
dry, arid situations, and some in wet forests, and seem to love the 
shade. It is not a very large family in this country. 

Urtica. L. 19. 4. Nettle. 

Named from its burning stings, as many species have a sting- 
ing property. Nettle has the same origin as needle. 

U. dioica. L. Common Stinging Nettle. Well known ; 
grows by roadsides in clusters, 2-4 feet high, erect, stiff, with 
opposite, cordate leaves ; flowers minute, and without beauty. 
The prickles are tubes, which, when pressed or struck upon the 


flesh, throw out an acrid liquor, which produces the stinging 
effects. Some of the Indian species produce far more painful 
effects than those of this country. Widely spread over Europe. 

U. Canadensis. L. Large Stinging Nettle. So strong are 
the fibres of the bark, that Mr. Whitlow proposed its culture as a 
substitute for hemp ; sometimes grows 6 feet high, large, strong, 
very hispid, and stinging. 

U. urens. L. Dwarf Stinger. A small stinging nettle, less 
than 2 feet high, with opposite, elliptic leaves, acutely serrate ; 
probably introduced from Europe. 

U. procera. Muhl. Not of much consequence. 

U. pumila. L. Stingless Nettle. Grows in moist and shady 
places, often about houses ; stem a foot high, round, smooth, 
fleshy, nearly pellucid, somewhat procumbent, and resembles a 
long worm ; flowers monoecious, in axillary racemes or heads. 

BCEHMERIA. W. 19. 4. 

B. cylindrica. W. Taken from Urtica by Willdenow ; stem 
2-4 feet high, erect, round, channelled, somewhat hairy, flowers 
in long, axillary" cylindrical spikes, with leaves on petioles, and 
3-nerved ; grows about fences in dry or damp soils ; blossoms in 
June to August. 

Parietaria. L. 19. 4. 

P. Pennsylvania. Muhl. Pellitory. Stem about a foot high, 
simple, with oblong-lanceolate leaves, veiny, and with opake dots ; 
flowers in axillary clusters ; June, in rocky soils. On Sugar 
Loaf, Deerfield. Hitchcock. 

Cannabis. W. 20. 5. 

C. sativa. L. Hemp. This plant, of such immense im- 
portance for the fibres of its stem, was introduced from Europe, 
and is partially naturalized. It is of two sorts, one of which is 
sterile, and dies after fertilizing the flowers of the other kind, 


which then increases greatly in size and strength. The only known 

Humulus. L. 20. 5. 

H. lupulus. L. Hop. A well-known plant as cultivated ; 
it seems also to be a native of the country, as the sterile plant 
has been found in various and very remote situations, and where 
there is no probability of its having been introduced. The me- 
dicinal properties are important. Bigelow's " Medical Botany." 
The active substance is a peculiar principle, called lupulin. 


Calyx lobed, inferior, generally with some appendages, and bear- 
ing monoecious or dioecious flowers ; the fertile flowers have the 
ovary superior ; rarely having compound leaves. 

This order includes a host of plants, nearly half of which are 
found in the equinoctial regions of America, being trees, shrubs, 
or herbs. They are not found in great numbers at the north ; 
few in Canada. Most of them contain a milky juice, which is 
generally injurious ; the common property is stimulating. Some 
are emetic, and some so poisonous as to be dangerous as medi- 
cines. Roots of some are healthful food. 

Only a few species are found in this State, and they are not im- 

Euphorbia. L. 19. 12. 

Named in honor of Euphorbus, physician to Juba of Mauritania. 

E. maculata. L. Spotted Spurge. Stem branching, and 
spreading close to the ground, with oblong, obtuse, hairy, slightly 
serrate leaves, and axillary, solitary flowers, small ; in light soils, 
along roads and in fields ; blossoms in June. 

E. hypericifolia. L. Oval-leafed Spurge. Stem erect, and 
spreading, a foot or more high, with oval-oblong, serrate, opposite 
leaves, and terminal corymbs of flowers ; rich soils, July. 

E. polygonifolia. L. Along the seashore, procumbent, 


branching, more full of white juice than the others, succulent ; 
leaves oblong, linear-lanceolate, obtuse ; blossoms in July. 

E. helioscopia. L. Sun Spurge. An erect round stem, with 
wedge-shaped or ovate leaves ; umbel of 5 rays, each of which 
is 3-branched, and then dichotomous ; involucre leaves under the 
umbel ; blossoms in June, in rich grounds. 

ACALYPHA. L. 19. 15. 

A. Virginica. L. Three-seeded Mercury. An insignificant 
plant, growing in dry, sandy soils, and beside roads, about a foot 
high, erect, pubescent, with very small sterile flowers, having 
fertile flowers at their base ; leaves lanceolate-oblong, serrate ; 
flowers in June to September. 

Ricinus. L. 19. 15. 

R. communis. L. Castor-oil Bean. This is the plant w T hose 
fruit yields the castor-oil, so well known for its medicinal prop- 
erties. It has been extensively cultivated in some parts of the 
State for the production of the oil ; the crop considered profit- 
able. It is partially naturalized, as it is cultivated as an ornamental 
plant about gardens. Its large branching glaucous stem, and 
palmate leaves, peltate, make it a beautiful plant. Its capsules 
are rough, echinate. The bean in its fresh state is poisonous, 
and should be kept from the access of children. 

Poinsettia. Graham. 19. 1. 

P. pulcherrima. A showy greenhouse plant, introduced from 
Mexico by the American minister Poinsett. Its great beauty 
lies in a number of richly-colored, broad-lanceolate, scarlet 
bractes, from 2 to 5 or 6 inches long, situated just below the 
inconspicuous flowers. 

ORDER 116. RUTACEJE. The Rue Tribe. 

Calyx 4-5-divided, with equal petals alternating with the di- 
visions of the calyx ; definite, hypogynous stamens ; ovary su- 
perior, divided more or less into 3-5 lobes. 


Ruta. L. 10. 1. 

R. graveolens. L. Rue. The plant so common in gardens, 
with leaves much divided, and leafets oblong ; strong-scented ; 
from the South of Europe. Sudorific, and anthelmintic. For- 
merly much used. 

ORDER 122. GERANIACEiE. The Geranium Tribe. 

Calyx of 5 sepals persistent, somewhat unequal, inclosing 5 
petals, rarely 4, having short claws ; stamens commonly mono- 
delphous ; leaves opposite or alternate. 

Astringent and aromatic ; unequally diffused over the globe. 

Geranium. L. 15. 10. 

Named from the Greek word for crane, the capsule and beak 
resembling the head of that bird. A very extensive genus. 

G. maculatum. L. Crow-foot Geranium., or Crane's Bill. 
Stem about 2 feet high, erect, hairy, forked or branched, with 
large, spreading, hairy, somewhat palmate leaves, of 5 - 7 
lobes ; petals round, purple, handsome ; fruit beaked ; blooms in 
May ; grows in meadows and fields. A very handsome plant ; 
root astringent ; medicinal. Bigelow's cc Medical Botany." 

G. dissectum. W. Wood Geranium. Stem a foot high, 
pubescent, with leaves variously cut and divided, and with hairy 
petioles ; peduncles axillary, forked ; blooms in June ; Medford 

G. Robcrtianum. L. Herb Robert. A small, branching, 
spreading plant of a reddish appearance, with ternate or quinate, 
hairy, petioled leaves ; flowers small, beautiful, purple, with 
rounded petals ; blooms in May to August, by roadsides and 
moist hedges. The odor of this plant is strong and offensive. 

Many species of Geranium are cultivated for ornament, as they 
have fine flowers and foliage. Many are beautiful plants for the 



ORDER 123. OXALIDE.E. Wood Sorrel Tribe. 

Calyx of 5 sepals, equal, often slightly cohering at the base, 
with 5 petals hypogynous and equal ; stamens 10, monadel- 
phous more or less, and the 5 inner or opposite the petals longer 
than the others ; 5 filiform styles rising from a 5-angled ovarium, 
of 5 cells ; seeds few ; leaves alternate, generally compound, 
rarely whorled or opposite. 

This order much resembles the preceding, and was taken from 
it ; embraces a considerable number of plants in the hotter and 
temperate climes of America, especially, and at the Cape of 
Good Hope. The plants are not very important. Many have 
sour leaves ; some are astringent ; an Oxalis in Columbia bears 
tubers like a potato. Only one genus in North America, and 
4 species in this State. 

Oxalis. L. 15. 5. Wood Sorrel. 

O. acetosella. Li. Grows in open woods, on hills and moun- 
tains, covers many parts of Saddle Mount, and makes a beautiful 
show in the time of flowering. Leaves and flower-stalk grow 
from the dentate root ; leaves ternate and broad, obcordate, beauti- 
ful, and delicate ; flower-stalk roundish, pubescent, 3-6 inches 
high, bearing one flower, white with reddish veins ; blossoms in 
June to July. 

Pure oxalic acid is said to exist in this plant. Taken in quan- 
tity, this acid is a deadly poison, but a little of it is pleasant. 

O. violacea. L. Sheep Sorrel, Violet Sorrel. A smaller 
plant, stemless like the other, and with similar leaves, but red or 
purplish flowers. Blossoms in May, in fields. 

0. stricta. L. Upright or Yellow Sorrel. Stem 4-8 
inches high, with umbelliferous peduncles of yellow flowers, and 
leaves like the other ; grows in sandy fields ; blossoms through 
the summer. Both this species and the preceding probably con- 
tain oxalic acid. 

O. comiculata. L. Greatly resembles the last, but has a 


decumbent stem, bearing umbels of flowers with peduncles shorter 
than the petioles of the leaves. In Berkshire County ; this spe- 
cies has probably been confounded with the preceding. 

ORDER 124. TROPiEOLE./E. Nasturtium Tribe. 

A small order, whose species are natives of South America. 
One is commonly cultivated in our gardens, for use and ornament. 

Tropjeolum. L. 8. 1. 

T. majus. L. Nasturtium. The calyx and corolla both of 
an orange color ; flowers irregular and spurred ; a running vine, 
easily trained, and running several feet, bearing fleshy or leathery 
sulcate nuts, often pickled. In hot climates it is said to be a 
shrub ; in the colder, is a vine; was carried from Peru to Europe 
in 1684. Admired for the flowers, leaves, and fruit. It is called 
Tropceolum from the fancied resemblance of its flower to a 
banner of triumph, — a trophy. If a branch of the plant is placed 
in a phial of water, it will grow and run for weeks, and sometimes 
blossom, and may thus be extended over a room. 1 1 species of 
this genus are found in South America. 

ORDER 126. BALSAMINEiE. Balsam Tribe. 

This order bears irregular, 1 -spurred flowers ; stamens 5, 
hypogynous, or under the ovary ; fruit capsular, with 5 elastic 
valves, by which the seeds are thrown about when mature. Some 
are said to be diuretic, and some emetic. Only 2 species in 
North America, and few on the globe. 

Impatiens. L. 5. 1. 

J. pallida. N. Touch-me-not, or Jewel Weed. Stem 2 
feet high, branched, smooth, succulent, with rhombic-ovate leaves ; 
spur recurved, on the shorter petal; flowers pale-yellow, 3-4 
on a solitary peduncle ; blossoms in August ; grows in wet grounds 
and damp waste places ; its capsule bursts with great elasticity, 
when ripe and dry, and the plant is hence often called Snapper, 
and, from its pendant flower, Jewel Weed. 


/. fulva. N. Is smaller, like the other, grows in like situ- 
ations, has obtuse leaves, and the spurred petal longer than the 
other ; flowers deep-yellow, but smaller, and crowded with spots. 

These two species are of little consequence, and differ very 
little from each other ; often confounded. 

I. balsamina. L. Garden Snapper, or Balsam. Cultiva- 
tion has produced a great variety of flowers, single, double, and 
of a great variety of colors, CO varieties being sometimes found 
in one garden. 

ORDER 129. POLYGALE.E. The Milkwort Tribe. 

Calyx of 5 irregular sepals, 3 being exterior and 2 interior, 
wing-like and petal-like; petals 3-5, of which the keel is an- 
terior, and larger, and often crested ; stamens as well as petals 
hypogynous, 8, usually in one set or tube ; ovary superior, com- 
pressed, 2-celled ; leaves generally alternate ; flowers commonly 
racemose, small, sometimes quite showy. 

The leaves are bitter, and the roots usually milky ; among 
these plants, we find very different properties, stimulant, diuretic, 
expectorant, cathartic, sudorific, emetic. Not a very numerous 
order ; and some parts of it are much confined to particular 
regions. Polygala is more widely spread than the others. Some 
of the order are herbaceous. 

Polygala. L. 16. 6. 

P. senega. L. Seneca Snake Root. Grows in the Middle 
and Southern States, and is in this State cultivated by the Shakers. 
Stem a foot high, erect, branching, with pale leaves ; flowers 
whitish, in a terminal spike. Medicinal. Bigelow's "Medical 
Botany." The root is hard and strong, and is much used in 
medicine, and contains the peculiar vegetable principle, senegin. 

P. verlicillata. L. Dwarf Snake Root. Stem near a foot 
high, erect, branched, slender ; leaves whorled or solitary, linear 
and remote ; flowers small, greenish-white, in spiked racemes ; 
grows in sandy soils, and blossoms in July. 

VI0LACE7E. 77 

P. sanguinea. L. Much like the preceding, but its flow- 
ers are dark-red, and stem slightly fastigiate, branched ; July, in 
dry soils ; said to have the same properties as P. senega ; is a 
smaller plant. 

P. cruciata. N. Has greenish-purple flowers. 

P. polygama. Walt. Has sessile purple flowers ; medicinal. 
Bigelow's " Medical Botany." 

P. paucifolia. W. Flowering Winter-green. Stem 3-4 
inches high, leafy ; flowers large, purple, crested on the keel 
beautifully ; leaves ovate, acute, smooth ; blossoms in May and 
June, in woods. This is a small but beautiful plant, with large 

ORDER 130. VIOLACEJE. The Violet Tribe. 

Calyx of 5 persistent sepals, as many petals equal or unequal, 
inferior ; 5 stamens rising from below the ovary, which is 
1-celled and usually many-seeded ; leaves simple, usually alter- 
nate ; some plants of the order are herbaceous. Only one genus 
is found in this State. 

Viola. L. 5. 1. Violet. 

Of the proper violet, there are about 50 species, nearly equally 
divided between North America and Europe. The South Ameri- 
can species are considerably different, and more shrubby. Of 
the 20 species enumerated as belonging to this country, by Mr. 
Nuttall, 18 are found in this Commonwealth. They are dis- 
tinguished as violets which have stems, and violets which are 
stemless ; usually beautiful plants, or having beautiful, peculiar 
flowers. They have little use, but are ornamental. The roots 
of most violets are said to be emetic. Lindley. Of this genus, 
the anthers are connivent and cohering, so as to resemble united 
filaments, but in the maturity of the anthers, they easily separate 
into the 5. Many of the species bear flowers without any petals, 
in midsummer, as remarked by Nuttall. 


Of the stemless violets are the following : 

V. pedata. L. Bird-foot Violet. Flower-stem or scape 
3-5 inches high, several from one root ; leaves radical, pedate, 
or bird-foot-like, 5 - 7-parted, smoothish, the divisions being 
linear-lanceolate ; stigma large, compressed, truncate, and per- 
forate at the apex ; blossoms in May, grows in woods and dry- 
soils ; flowers large and blue. Abounds in the towns on Con- 
necticut River, and in the eastern towns, and is becoming useful 
for its medicinal virtues. Dr. Partridge, of Stockbridge. 

V. cucullata. Ait. Common Field Violet. A variable spe- 
cies, in its leaves and pubescence, common in wet fields or 
meadows ; has large blue flowers, more or less variegated, on radi- 
cal stems ; 3 - 6 inches high ; leaves turned in at their base so as 
to resemble a monk's cowl, and hence its technical name ; April 
and May. 

V. palmata. L. Hand Violet. Receives its name from the 
leaves being lobed and cut so as to resemble the shape of the 
hand ; of which some are certainly finely palmate ; varying as the 
leaves do, they seem too far removed from the preceding to be 
only a variety, as some have thought. Crows in wet grounds ; 
blossoms in May ; flowers middle-sized, blue. 

V. primulifolia. L. Leaves smooth, oblong-ovate, partially 
heart-shaped and obtusish, pubescent on the nerves beneath ; 
petals obtuse, and the 2 side ones slightly bearded ; flowers 
white and odorous, with long floral leaves ; wet grounds ; May. 
Found lately in the eastern part of the State. JG. Tuckerman, Jr. 

V. ovata. N. Grows on dry, sandy hills or fields, very 
close to the ground, having bright blue flowers on short stems, 
with flat ovate, subcordate, crenate leaves ; whole plant pubes- 
cent ; May. 

V. villosa. Walt. Very pubescent, with kidney-form, cor- 
date leaves, thick and flat on the ground ; like the preceding ; 
May, on dry hills. 


V. rotundifolia. Mx. Ground Violet. Has large, broad- 
ovate and cordate, thick leaves, of a bright-green, with yellow 
flowers on a very short stem, often scarcely raising them above 
the leaves of woods ; an early species, blooms in April. 

V. acuta. Big. Has ovate, smooth, crenate leaves, rather 
obtuse ; petals ovate, acute, white, with the odd petal purple at 
base ; very small ; April and May, in moist grounds. Big. 
Boston and Amherst. 

There are 3 other stemless species, sagittata, Ait., lanceo- 
lata, L., blanda, W., of even less consequence. 

Of the caulescent, or having a stem, are the following : 

V. Canadensis. L. Woods Violet. Stem a foot or more 
high, erect, with broad-cordate, serrate, acuminate leaves, slightly 
pubescent along the nerves ; spur short ; flowers large, blue, 
pale inside ; grows in woods and fields ; May. 

V. pubescens. Ait. Large Yellow Woods Violet. Stem 
towards a foot high, erect, with broad-ovate, cordate, toothed 
leaves ; whole plant villous-pubescent ; middle-sized yellow 
flowers ; woods ; May. 

V. rostrata. Muhl. Beaked Violet. Stem 4-6 inches high, 
erect, diffuse ; leaves smooth ; cordate, acute, serrate ; large pale- 
blue flowers, with a long spur ; hills and woods ; May. 

V. tricolor. L. Garden Violet. Is the species commonly 
cultivated in gardens, so beautiful and so various in its 3-colored 
flowers ; introduced from England. When propagated by cut- 
tings or from seed in very rich soil, its flowers increase in size, 
and have far more splendid colors. 

V. odorata. L. Sweet-scented Violet. A stemless species, 
with creeping scions ; stems smoothish ; calyx obtuse ; dis- 
tinguished for its fine odor, its early flowers, and variously 
colored petals ; many varieties have risen from cultivation ; 
a native of the woods and hedges of Europe, far less common 
than the preceding in our gardens. 


ORDER 131. PASSIFLORE.E. The Passion Flower 


Calyx of 5 sepals, and corolla of 5 petals on the calyx, and 
without the filamentose or annular processes which rise from the 
throat of the calyx ; stamens 5, monadelphous, surrounding the 
stalk which supports the superior ovary ; styles 3, club-form, 
with a dilated stigma ; usually climbing ; leaves alternate and stip- 
ulate. The anthers, movable on their filaments, thus bring the 
pollen in contact with the stigma. 

The flowers are often very beautiful, and the whole plant also ; 
some bear fruit which is sourish, pleasant, and healthful. Gen- 
erally the properties are of little value. 

Passiflora. L. 15. 5. Passion Flower. 
Two species are often cultivated in gardens. 
P. ccerulea. W. Blue-flowered, from Brazil. 

P. alata. W. Wing-stemmed, from the West Indies. 

Two are natives of the United States from Pennsylvania to 
Florida ; about 50 species are found in tropical America ; one 
in Norfolk Island, and one in New Holland ; not one in the 
eastern continent. 

ORDER 134. CISTINEiE. The Rock Rose Tribe. 

This order was united with Violaceae, from which it much dif- 
fers, and some of the genera greatly in appearance, which are yet 
retained in this order by Lindley. Only 3 genera found in 
this country and State, and only one of these herbaceous. 

Calyx of 5 persistent unequal sepals continuous with the 
flower-stalk, containing 5 fugitive, hypogynous petals ; stamens 
indefinite ; ovary superior ; flowers often in unilateral racemes. 
Chiefly inhabit South of Europe, North of Africa, and South 

Cistus, from which the order is named, and Hudsonia, will be 
described under the shrubs. 


Lechea. L. 3. 3. Pin Weed. 

Named in honor of Lecheo, Professor of Natural History at 
Abo ; small insignificant plants, and natives of North America. 

L. major. L. Fall Pin Weed. Stem 1-2 feet high, 
erect, hairy, stiff, brittle, purple, with oval leaves downy, and 
pale beneath, and small obscure flowers, and producing capsules 
as large as a pin's head ; blossoms in July, on rocks or dry grounds. 

L. minor. L. Low Pin Weed. Stem 8-12 inches high, 
erect, branched, smoothish, with linear-lanceolate leaves, rolled 
back at the margin ; flowers minute, producing capsules smaller 
than the preceding ; July ; barren fields. 

L. racemulosa. Mx. Branching Pin Weed. Whole plant 
about the size of the other, but more branched in proportion, 
and covered with a close pubescence ; leaves linear ; July ; dry 

L. thymifolia. Ph. Woolly Pin Weed. A species found 
further south, but lately found in the eastern part of our State. 
E. Tuckermari) Jr. Stem a foot high, erect, with linear, acute 
leaves ; branches short, with a leafy long panicle of very small 
flowers ; whole plant whitish, villous ; sandy places ; July. 


Calyx of 5 persistent sepals, and often an involucre of 3 
leaves on the outside ; 5 hypogynous, concave petals with 
claws ; stamens indefinite ; ovary superior, 5-celled, with a single 
style, and a dilated peltate, 5-angled stigma ; leaves radical, with 
a hollow, urn-shaped petiole, and an articulated lid over it ; flower- 
stalk or scape bears one large flower. 

Properties of no consequence. Plants confined to marshes or 
wet places of North America ; one genus. 


Sarracenia. L. 12. 1. 

S. purpurea. L. Side-saddle Flower. This is a curious 
plant in respect to its leaves, and beautiful for its flowers ; has its 
name from the resemblance in shape and position of its curved 
and hollow leaf, to the horn of a side-saddle. The cup-leaf may 
contain nearly a gill of water ; is often half full, and frequently 
has many insects drowned in it ; flower large, and reddish, with 
the peltate stigma spread like an umbrella over the stamens ; 
blossoms in June ; scape 1-2 feet high. Named after Dr. 
Sarrazin of Quebec. 

Only 3 other species are known. This genus has been re- 
moved from the order it was formerly placed in, and seems to be 
made a distinct order, because its affinities or relations are not 
understood. A kind of spider has been seen to deposit its half- 
killed prey in the cup-leaf. 

ORDER 137. DROSERACE.E. The Sundew Tribe. 

Calyx of 5 equal persistent sepals, and 5 hypogynous pe- 
tals ; stamens once, twice, thrice, &c. as many as the petals ; 
ovary superior, single, having 3-5 styles ; delicate plants, often 

Some of the order are said to be poisonous, acrid, or acid ; 
widely spread over the world. 

Drosera. L. 5. 5. 

Named from the Greek word for dew, from the dew-like glands 
on its leaves. 

D. rotundifolia. L. Sundew. Flow r ers on a leafless stem 
or scape, 4-8 inches high, in a terminal raceme ; leaves rad- 
ical, petiolate, round, flattish, covered above and on the margin 
with crimson, glandular hairs ; blossoms in July ; grows in wet, 
boggy, or marshy places ; common in England and this country. 

The leaves appear as if covered with drops of dew, and pre- 
sent a beautiful appearance in the sun. Acrid and caustic plant ; 
curdles milk ; removes warts and corns, and takes away freckles 
and sunburn. Loudon. 

LINEiE. 83 

D. longifolia. L. Long-leafed Sundew. A smaller and 
more delicate plant, bearing flowers on a scape 2-4 inches long, 
and bearing obovate leaves, crenate, tapering into a long petiole ; 
blossoms in July, in swamps ; common in Britain and here. 

D. tenuifolia. Muhl. Slender-leafed. Has slender, almost 
filiform leaves, 6-10 inches long, with flowers purple, on a scape 
longer than the leaves ; August, in swamps ; abundant along the 
borders of ponds at Plymouth, Big., where all the three species 
are found growing in company. 

ORDER 139. LINEJE. The Flax Tribe. 

Persistent calyx of 3-4-5 sepals, and same number of 
petals and stamens, all hypogynous ; flowers rather beautiful, but 
fugacious. Only one genus in this country, containing the species 
of our well-known Flax, which was introduced from England, and 
is scarcely naturalized, and a wild species, a native of the United 
States. Distinguished by the tenacity of the fibre, and the mu- 
cilage of the seeds ; diuretic. 

Linum. L. 5. 5. 

Named from the Greek word, from which we have our word 
line, on account of the use of the fibre from the remotest ages of 

L. Virginianum. L. Wild or Virginian Flax. A weed of 
hills and fields, growing 1-2 feet high, erect, smooth, slender, 
bearing small yellow flowers in dichotomous panicles ; July. 

L. usitatissimum. L. Flax. Well named by Linnaeus from 
its great use and importance, in which no similar article can be 
a rival, unless it may be wool, cotton, and silk, and with which, 
for a long period in Europe, no like article, except wool, could 

Flax requires a deep, rich, loamy soil, for its most successful 
growth. The improved process for separating the fibre from the 
inner part, is by drying and breaking the stem on a machine, without 


rotting it, either in water, or on the grass by dew and rain. In this 
method, pursued in Britain, more seed and a much stronger fibre 
are obtained, and the remaining part is used for the food of cattle 
or horses. The fibre can be whitened afterwards, and left much 
stronger than by the former method. 

When flax is rotted in ponds of water, by sinking it several 
bundles in thickness upon each other, the water is charged with 
deleterious matter so as to kill fishes in the stream below, and to 
render the adjacent country unhealthy. 

The seed of flax is exceedingly important for its oil, so ne- 
cessary in the process of painting, and affording a material rela- 
tively abundant, cheap, and easy of access. It is boiled with 
litharge, or oxyde of lead, for the purpose of changing it into an 
oil that will readily dry ; the litharge destroying or changing the 
nature of the mucilage or gummy part of the seed. 

The seed is also valuable for its medicinal character ; emolli- 
ent, diuretic. 

The use of the pressed seed of flax after the oil is extracted, 
as food for horses and cattle, is well known. 

L. perenne. L. Common to Europe and Missouri, may be 
used to some extent like the preceding. 

Most of the 39 species of this genus are found in Europe, 
and are far inferior to common Flax for useful purposes. 5 spe- 
cies grow in the United States, and 3 are indigenous. 

ORDER 140. CARYOPHYLLE^E. The Chickweed 


Calyx 4 or 5 parted, or of 4 or 5 sepals, persistent, and pe- 
tals of like number, with claws, inserted under the ovary, not 
always present ; twice as many stamens as petals, sometimes 
monadelphous ; ovary superior, on a pedicle, with 2-5 stigmas ; 
capsule 2-5 valved ; leaves entire and opposite, sometimes 
connate. The order is named from a splendid and variable spe- 
cies of Dianthus, the Carnation Pink. 

A few of this order bear beautiful flowers ; many are weeds ; 
some are saponaceous ; one is said to be anthelmintic, and one is 


used for food ; generally of little use, but numerous, and widely 
spread over the temperate and colder regions, forming T ^ of the 
flowering plants of North America, ^ of Lapland, ^2 of France. 
Lindlc.y. The order contains fourteen genera, and a large num- 
ber of species, in North America, and is distinguished commonly 
into two obvious divisions, of no great consequence in a popular 
view of plants, but preserved here for convenience. 

1. The sepals united in a tube ; Silenex, from one of the 
principal genera. 

Dianthus. L. 10. 2. Pink. 
So named from the Greek, flower of Jove, to express the 
great beauty and fragrance of the flower, especially of the first 

D. caryophyllus. L. Carnation. This is found only in flower- 
gardens, being an exotic from the south side of the Alps. They 
have been so long cultivated in Europe, and are such favorites 
among all lovers of flowers, that 400 varieties existed more than a 
century ago, and as many are found now. They are divided into 
three classes ; Flakes, which have only two colors and stripes 
large and deep ; Bizarres (French, odd, irregular), variegated 
with three colors in irregular spots and stripes ; Picotees (French, 
prickled or spotted), which have a white ground, spotted with 
scarlet, red, purple, or other colors. The last have the smallest 
flowers, or smaller than common carnations, and distinguished by 
their serrated petals ; also more hardy. Though 5 petals are the 
due number in this genus, in the Carnations the flowers have 
double or triple that number, and become very large by cultiva- 
tion. Loudon. 

D. armeria. L. Red Pink. A native of England, and the 
chief pink cultivated a few years ago in the western part of the 
State. In a few places it appears to be naturalized. 

D. Chinensis. L. China Pink. A native of China ; has 
reddish and whitish flowers, with toothed petals and linear scales. 


D. plumarius. L. Feathered Pink. Named from its many- 
cleft petals ; is common to Europe, whence we received it ; 
glaucous ; throat of the corolla hairy. The Pheasant's Eye is of 
this species, of which 300 varieties are cultivated about Paisley. 

D. barbatus. L. Sweet William. From Germany ; bears 
red or whitish and often greatly variegated flowers, in tufts or 
fascicles, with scales as long as the tube of the corolla. Cultiva- 
tion is making this a very beautiful species, of great variety and 
mixture of colors. 

There are reckoned 41 species of this genus ; only a few are 
beautiful. The carnation and pink have been called the florist's 
flower. Loudon. 

Lychnis. L. 10. 5. 

L. chalcedonica. L. Scarlet Lychnis or Campion. A na- 
tive of Russia, cultivated for its beauty ; the border of the petal 
somewhat 2-cleft, or deeply emarginate ; flowers fascicled, level- 
topped ; rather rough-leafed. 

One or two species more are said to be cultivated. One small 
one is a native of Labrador. The cottony leaves of some spe- 
cies have been used as wicks for lamps ; hence the name, Lych- 
nis, from the Greek word for lamp. 

Saponaria. L. 10. 2. Soapwort. 

S. officinalis. L., and S. vaccaria, L., have wandered from 
the gardens into the fields, and are naturalized. In Berkshire 
County, the former bears large double flowers. 

The mucilaginous sap of the leaves is said to have a soap-like 
power ; hence the name. S. officinalis is bitter, and was used 
to cure the itch. Loudon. 

Agrostemma. L. 10. 5. 

Named from the Greek, crown of the field, on account of the 
beauty of the flowers ; only four species, and all natives of Eu- 
rope. Tubular calyx, 5-sided. 


A. githago. L. Cockle. A well-known weed of wheat 
fields, hairy, and bearing fine rose-colored flowers, and often 
called Rose Campion ; introduced ; scarcely naturalized ; propa- 
gated with the wheat. 

The name githago, is from the resemblance of the seeds to 
git or githj aromatic grains supposed of Nigella sativa, L., used in 
cookery. The black seeds greatly injure the flour of wheat. 

A. coronaria. L. Mullein Pink. Named from its woolly 
leaves, bearing white or red flowers, sometimes double ; a plant 
desired from its singular appearance ; a native of Italy. 

Cucubalus. L. 10. 3. 

The name signifies a bad subject ; as the seeds of C. baccifer, 
a native of England, are very poisonous, it is named evil weed. 

C. behen. L. Bladder Campion. Formerly a Silene, na- 
tive of Crete, about fences and roads ; stem a foot or two high, 
smooth, paniculate, with white, spreading, nodding flowers, and 
with spatulate, radical leaves, and opposite, ovate, acute, entire, 
stem-leaves ; calyx inflated or bladder-like, an obvious and strik- 
ing character ; introduced ; substitute for asparagus and green 
peas, according to Loudon. 

C. stellatus. L. Star Campion, is a native of this country 
and State; stem 2-4 feet high, erect, branching, pubescent, 
with whorled, lanceolate leaves in fours ; white, paniculate 
flowers ; petals about 4-cleft ; July ; woods ; calyx inflated and 

Silene. L. 10. 3. Catchfly. 
More than 70 species are enumerated under this genus, and are 
generally plants of little use or beauty ; and, as many of them 
are covered with a viscid, offensive matter, the genus was named 
after the dirty and drunken heathen deity, Silenus. 3 or 4 spe- 
cies are peculiar to this country, and a few others are the same as 
the European ; only 2 species are found in this Commonwealth. 


S. antirrhina. L. Sleepy or Snap-dragon Catchfly. As 
the flowers are not expanded by day, and the plant resembles a 
species of Antirrhinum, the popular name is obvious ; grows on 
dry hills, and blossoms in June. Stem 1-2 feet high, erect, 
smooth, slender in its branches and peduncles ; leaves lanceolate, 
acute ; flowers whitish, small, petals obcordate, crowned at the 
top of the claw of the petal. 

jS». Pennsylvanica. Mx. Wild Pink. Viscidly pubescent ; 
stems 8-12 inches high, numerous ; radical leaves wedge-form, 
and stem-leaves long-linear ; panicles somewhat trichotomous ; 
petals bright-purple ; May ; light soils, in fields and woods. 

/S. nocturna. L. A native of Europe ; has lately been found 
by Dr. Harris, springing up without cultivation, in Cambridge. 

&. armeria, L., Garden Catchfly, and S. conica, L., Garden 
Catchfly, both from England, and perhaps some others, are cul- 
tivated for ornament. S. armeria is very common in our gar- 
dens, and often used for border flowers, as it blossoms for many 
days, and has rather handsome foliage. 

2. Sepals distinct or cohering only at the base ; Alsine^:, 
from a principal genus. 

Stellaria. L. 10. 3. 

Named from its star-form or stellate flower. 

S. media. Sm. Formerly Alsine media, L., Chickweed. 
Stem procumbent, spreading ; leaves ovate or lanceolate, smooth ; 
peduncles axillary and terminal, 1 -flowered ; petals 5, deeply 
cleft so as to appear like 10 ; stamens often 5 ; about gardens and 
houses ; blossoms from March to November. Naturalized. 

5. longifolia. Muhl. Long-leafed Star-grass, and 

6. lanceolata. Torrey. Are grass-like plants, in moist woods 
and swamps ; of little consideration. 


Cerastium. L. 10. 5. 

Named from the Greek for horn, on account of the horn-like 
form of the capsule of many of the species. Few, if any, are 
indigenous to this country. 

C. vulgatum. L. Mouse-ear Chickweed. A pale-green 
plant, partly procumbent, viscid-pubescent ; leaves ovate, obtuse, 
pubescent or hirsute ; flowers dichotomous, partially umbelled ; 
petals white, emarginate ; from May to August, in gardens and 
fields ; introduced from Britain. 

C. viscosum. L. A more viscid, but similar plant. 

C. semidecandrum. L. May be only a variety of the last ; 
on dry hills ; both from Britain. 

C. arvense. L. Field Chickweed. Rather smaller than the 
preceding species, ascending, slender, with crowded leaves at the 
base ; flowers large, white, 2 or 3 on terminal pedicels ; blossoms 
in May and June, in fields and on rocky hills ; a native also of 

C. tenuifolium. Ph. A variety of the last, in all probability, 
and grows in similar places. 

C. connatum. Beck ; which is C. hirsutum Muhl. Credited 
with some doubt to this State ; very hairy, diffuse ; leaves ob- 
ovate ; flowers in dense clusters, and white, with a procumbent 
stem ; May. Probably a variety of C. vulgatum. 

C. oblongifolium. Torrey. A larger plant, cespitose, pro- 
cumbent, pubescent, erect, terete, with oblong-lanceolate leaves ; 
petals obovate, bifid ; flowers terminal, few, on a dichotomous 
panicle ; mountains of Massachusetts ; blossoms in June. 

The last appears to be indigenous ; all of little consequence, 
except as yielding seed for the food of small birds. 


Sagina. L. 4. 3. 

S. procumbens. L. Pearlvvort. Stem 2-4 inches high, 
smooth, branched, procumbent, with linear leaves, mucronate, 
and small white flowers with very short petals or none ; along 
streams ; July. Native of Britain. 

Sagina is so called from its nourishing power, as some of the 
plants are valuable food for sheep. The above species is a mere 
weed and troublesome. Loudon. 

Mollugo. L. 3. 3. 

M. verticillata. L. Carpet Weed. This is a prostrate, 
spreading weed, with a dichotomous stem, whorled leaves, and 
small white flowers on axillary peduncles ; in fields, July ; a 
native of this country. 

Spergula. L. 10. 5. 

<S. arvensis. L. Corn Spurry. Stem 6-12 inches high, 
with swelling joints, and narrow, linear, whorled leaves, and with 
white flowers in a dichotomous panicle ; August, in sandy fields. 
Introduced from Britain. Supposed to receive its name from the 
Latin word to scatter, because it scatters its seeds widely and 
rapidly. In Scotland, this species is called yarr, and in England, 
pickpurse, a name which shows its character. In Germany it is 
sown in cornfields to give food for sheep in winter, for which it 
is excellent food, and also for cows, and for hens, green or as 
hay ; yields most nourishing fodder for its bulk, and gives the 
best flavored milk and butter. It is not likely to be cultivated 
here for the same reason that it is not in England, viz., there are 
better plants for the same soils. Loudon. 

Arenaria. L. 10. 3. 

Named from arena, sand, in which most of its species are found ; 
all are plants of little consequence. About 50 species are de- 
scribed ; only 8 are credited to the Eastern States. 

A. serpyllifolia. L. Stem 3-8 inches long, mostly decum- 
bent, diffuse and dichotomous, with ovate and acute, sessile leaves, 


and solitary, axillary, and terminal flowers ; petals purplish, con- 
tract within the calyx towards mid-day ; roadsides ; June. A 
native of Britain ; naturalized. 

A. lateriflora. L. Has a more erect stem, 4-8 inches high, 
with white flowers ; wet, shaded places, June ; a native of 
Britain, and probably of our country also. 

A. rubra. L. Common Sandwort, has small delicate red 
flowers on prostrate, branching steins ; roads ; July. 

A. marina. Sm. Sea Sandwort ; more succulent and fleshy 
than the last. Salt marshes ; July ; often thought to be a variety 
of S. rubra. 

A. peploides. L. Stem 8-12 inches high, smooth, fleshy, 
pellucid, dichotomous ; leaves half-clasping, ovate, acute, fleshy, 
opposite ; flowers nearly sessile, axillary, with white membrana- 
ceous petals ; blossoms in May and June ; grows in large col- 
lections, along the seashore sands ; Plumb Island, near Newbury- 
port, Big., and some other places along the coast. 


Only one species of this order is credited to North America, 
viz. Crypta minima, Nutt. 2. 2. This plant has been found on 
the Hudson near Albany, and along ponds about New Haven, 
Connecticut, and widely over the country. It is difficult to de- 
tect on account of its minuteness, as it lies flat on the ground, 
and sends up branches only an inch or half inch high, with very 
minute axillary flowers. It has lately been detected by the sides 
of ponds in Plymouth County. Properties of the order unknown. 
Elatine triandra, W., lately found in the eastern part of the State, 
is probably the plant described by Nuttall. 

ORDER 144. PORTULACEiE. The Purslane Tribe. 

Calyx of 2 sepals, rarely 3 or 5, united at the base ; petals 5, 
rarely 3, 4, or 6, distinct, or in a short tube, or none ; stamens 


rising from the base of the calyx, with distinct filaments ; ovary- 
superior, and capsule 1 -celled ; leaves commonly alternate, with- 
out stipules ; flowers axillary or terminal. 

Tasteless, inodorous, somewhat mucilaginous, of a dull green 
color ; of little use as a family ; are found at the Cape of Good 
Hope in most abundance ; only a few in this country. 

PORTULACA. L. 12. 1. 

P. oleracea. Purslane. A well-known plant of gardens and 
fields, succulent, fleshy, having a prostrate stem, and flowers on 
the smaller branches, with yellow petals. Supposed to be intro- 
duced from Europe, but indigenous to naked plains of Missouri, 
according to Mr. Nuttall. Sometimes boiled for greens. 

Claytonia. L. 5. 1. Spring Beauty. 

Named after Clayton by Gronovius, who received the plants of 
Virginia collected by Clayton. Within a few years many species 
have been discovered in North America. Only one species is 
found in New England. It has been fashionable to blend this in 
all its varieties under C. Virginica, L. Our plant had been called 
C. Caroliniana by Michaux, and afterwards C. spathulazfolia by 
Pursh, and a marked variety of C. Virginica by others. I have 
never seen the long, linear, narrow-leafed plant, C. Virginica, L. 
at the north ; and I was satisfied that, ours is very different from 
that, on receiving a specimen from the south. 

C. spathulazfolia. Ph. Has a stem 6-10 inches high, nearly 
erect, often procumbent, with two opposite, fleshy, broad-lanceo- 
late or spatulate leaves, somewhat variable, and with loose-racem- 
ed flowers, rose-red, and more or less striped ; root fleshy, 
tuberous, at some distance in the ground ; open and moist woods ; 
April. The two species are made distinct by T. and G., " Flora 
of North America," Part 2, p. 199. 

The plant is beautiful, as its name imports, but has no useful 
properties. C. perfoliata, Donn, a native of North America, is 
said to be a hardy plant, whose foliage is used as spinage. 


ORDER 147. CRASSULACEiE. The Houseleek 


Divisions of the calyx 3-20, somewhat united at their base, 
and originating the corolla of separate petals, or monopetalous ; 
stamens once or twice as many as the petals and rising also from 
the calyx ; several hypogynous scales ; ovaries as many as the 
petals ; mostly succulent plants ; flowers in cymes. 

This is a large tribe of plants, of which 133 are found at the 
Cape of Good Hope, 15 in North America, 52 in Europe, and 
about 70 more scattered over the earth. Only a few species in- 
habit this State. The properties are sometimes acrid ; many are 
refrigerant and abstergent ; seem not to be of great value. 

Penthorum. L. 10. 5. 

P. sedoides. L. Virginia Stem Crop. The genus is named 
from the 5-marked angles of the capsule ; and the specific name 
from its resemblance to Sedum. A plant of no consequence ; a 
native of this country. 

Stem a foot or more high, branched and angular above ; leaves 
alternate and lanceolate ; flowers white or yellowish, in a terminal 
1 -sided raceme ; wet grounds ; July. Plant scarcely succulent. 

Sedum ; L. 10. 5. 

Named from the Latin to sit, from the manner of growth upon 
rocks, as if sitting upon them. Loudon. A pretty large genus, 
having but few species in this country. 5 small seed-vessels with 
a scale at their base, and the divisions of the calyx often swelled 
and leafy. 

& Telephium. W. Stone Crop. Stem branching, with flat, 
alternate, ovate leaves, somewhat acute at both ends ; flowers in 
a fascicled corymb, pale purple ; rocks ; July ; eastern part of 
the State. This is doubtless the >S. telephioides, Mx., varieties 
of the same plant, common to Europe and this country. 

Several other species of Sedum are cultivated. 


Sempervivum. L. 12. 12. 
S. tectorum. L. Houseleek, or Live-for-ever. A well- 
known plant of the gardens, with thick, fleshy, mucilaginous 
leaves ; sends out runners with bulbs, and rather rarely flowering ; 
native of Britain. The plant is so succulent, that a twig of it 
will grow, if the end be only stuck fast under the shingles of a 
roof; hence its generic, specific, and common name. In popular 
use as an emollient, bruised or not, and a vulnerary. 

ORDER 148. FICOIDEiE. The Fig-Marigold Tribe. 

This order contains but few genera, but many species. One 
species is cultivated. The plants are succulent, polypetalous, 
with perigynous stamens, and superior ovary. The fruit of some 
is fig-like, whence the name of the order. 

Mesembryanthemum. L. 12. 1. 

From the Greek, mid-day, because the flowers usually expand 
at that time. No less than 290 species of this genus have been 
described, of which many are rather beautiful, some only herba- 

M. crytallinum. L. Ice-plant, -from Greece; has a nearly 
prostrate stem, with ovate, acute leaves, appearing as if covered 
with frost. In gardens. 

Only one genus is found in this country, Sesuvium, along the 
seashore of the Middle and Southern States. 


Calyx of 3 or 4, or oftener 5 sepals, sometimes cohering at 
the base ; petals inserted on the calyx, minute, or none, with 
perigynous stamens opposite the petals and equal in number ; 
ovary superior ; styles 2 or 3 ; leaves sessile, often fascicled. 
Properties of no interest. A considerable class, inhabiting the 
South of Europe, and North of Africa. 


Queria. L. 5. 1. 
Q. Canadensis. L. Forked Chickvveed. Stem 6-12 
inches high, erect or spreading, dichotomous, pubescent, with 
opposite, lanceolate, smooth leaves ; flowers solitary, very mi- 
nute, terminal and axillary ; blossoms in July ; dry soil, in fields. 
The genus is named from Quer, a Spanish botanist. Some 
other species are found in this country, but not in this State. 

ORDER 151. AMARANTHACE^. The Amaranth 


Calyx 3 or 5 leafed, persistent, hypogynous, without a corolla ; 
stamens 5, or twice as many, distinct and monadelphous ; ovary 
superior ; flowers in heads or spikes. A rather numerous family, 
chiefly in the tropical regions, which contain about 150 species, 
and about 50 are in other parts of the world ; seem to have few 
distinguishing and valuable properties ; some are used for pot- 
herbs, some for their singular flowers and inflorescence, and the 
long continuance of their blossoms ; a few as medicines. 

Amaranthus. L. 19. 5. Amaranth. 
Named from the Greek, which means not withering, as the 
flowers retain their colors long. About 40 species are described ; 
only 8 or 10 natives of North America, and still fewer of New 

A. hybridus. L. A coarse weed about gardens, 2 or 3 feet 
high, unsightly, with ovate and lanceolate leaves, flowers crowded, 
small, obscure ; turning reddish in maturity ; blossoms in August. 
Probably introduced. 

A. oleraceus. L. Pot Amaranth. A smaller weed about 
gardens, with insignificant flowers ; rarely used as a pot-herb. 

Jl. blitum. L. Low Amaranth. Smaller than the others, 
spreading or prostrate ; supposed to be introduced. 


A. pumilus. Nutt. A low plant, somewhat decumbent, dif- 
fuse, with ovate leaves, which are obtuse and fleshy ; on Nashawn 
Island. T. A. Greene. A. retrqflexus, L., has been found in 
several parts of the country. 

In the gardens several species are cultivated, as 

A. melancholicus. W. Melancholy, from the East Indies. 

A. lividus. W. Lead Amaranth, from North America. 

A. tricolor. W. Three-colored Coxcomb, from the East 

A. caudatus. W. Love-lies-bleeding, from the East Indies. 

GOMPHRENA. L. 5. 1. 

G. globosa. L. Globe Amaranth, or Bachelor's Buttons. 
Well known for its beautiful heads of red flowers, and easily cul- 
tivated as an annual. India. If the heads are picked before 
maturity, they preserve their beauty for years. Loudon. 

ORDER 152. SCLERANTHEiE. The Knawel Tribe. 

Only 2 genera belong to the order. The species grow over 
Europe, Asia, and North America ; only 3 of Scleranthus are 
described ; all useless plants ; the name means hard flower. 

Scleranthus. L. 10. 2. 

S>. annuus. L. Common Knawel. Stems procumbent, 
spreading, somewhat pubescent, numerous ; flowers in axillary 
fascicles, green and very small ; leaves linear, opposite, acute ; 
July, in sandy fields. 

ORDER 153. CHENOPODEiE. The Goose Foot 


From the Greek, Goose- Foot, on account of the resemblance 
of the leaves of many species to the webbed feet of water birds. 
The plants have little of interest in their appearance, and their 
flowers are insignificant. 


Calyx persistent, deeply parted, sometimes with divisions 
united at the base ; corolla none ; stamens on the base of the 
calyx, and against the divisions which they equal in number ; 
ovary superior ; fruit membranous, sometimes berry-like ; leaves 
alternate, sometimes opposite ; flowers small, sometimes polyga- 

This order contains a considerable number of plants ; some 
highly useful. Many have been used as pot-herbs. 

Chenopodium. L. 5. 2. 

C. album. L. Pig-weed, or White Goose-Foot. A com- 
mon weed in gardens and fields ; succulent, and formerly used as 
a pot-herb. 

C. hybridum, L., and C. rubrum, L. Often called Goose- 
Foot ; gardens and waste places. 

C. botrys. L. Oak of Jerusalem. A native of this country ; 
a small, erect, branching, and leafy plant, with scattered clusters 
of flowers on short branches, giving the whole a spike-form ap- 
pearance ; of a strong and peculiar odor ; grows on light, sandy 
soil ; August. Tonic and antispasmodic. 

The genus numbers about 40 species, 4 or 5 only being in- 
digenous ; the first three just mentioned, have probably been in- 
troduced from Europe. The ashes of our species are used in the 
manufacture of soda. 

Beta. L. 5. 2. Beet. 
From the Celtic for red. 

B. vulgaris. L. The common Beet, white and red. These 
plants, introduced from the south of Europe, have become neces- 
sary as articles of food. The cultivation of the Sugar Beet is no 
longer problematical. The introduction of an article of such 
extensive consumption, demanding new and increasing industry and 
capital, may form an era in the history of our agriculture and 
prosperity. The extraction of 10 per cent, of sugar from the 
beet, by the improved method in France, renders it certain, that 


the production of sugar from the beet may be profitable even in 
a land of free labor. 

While the beet, carrot, turnip, cabbage, &c, are used for 
food under various forms, it should be recollected, that they 
are more difficult of digestion than the farinaceous vegetables, 
wheat, potato, &c. 

B. cicla. W. Scarcity, and Mangel Wurtzel. Too extensively 
cultivated, as food for cattle, not to be known for the amount of 
its yield suited to that object ; a native of Portugal. The spe- 
cific name cicla, is said to be a corruption of sicula, by which 
name Catullus called the plant. Lovdon. 

Spinacia. L. 19. 5. 

&. oleracea. L. Spinach. Spinage is cultivated to some 
extent, and as a pot-herb is highly esteemed. 

Acnida. L. 20. 5. 

A. cannabina. L. Sea Hemp. Grows in marshes about salt 
water, with a smooth, erect stem, having leafy spikes of barren 
flowers on one plant, and fertile flowers on another, with leaves 
ending in a long, obtuse point ; blossoms in August. Big. The 
genus has its name from being slingless, and its specific name 
from its resemblance to the common hemp. 

Atriplex. L. 20. 15. Orache. 

A. hortensis, L. Is cultivated as spinage, and has become 
naturalized in some parts of this country ; it is called mountain 
spinage ; from Tartary. More than 30 species are described, 
though only 5 or 6 are natives of North America, and only half 
of them are found in this State. 

Jl. patula. L. Spreading Orache. A branched, spreading, 
herbaceous plant, with spear-form leaves towards the base ; grows 
in salt marshes. 

A. arenaria. Nutt. Grows in sandy places of the coast, 


with a reddish stem a foot high, much branched, spreading, and 
lower leaves cuneate-oval, obtuse. 

Blitum. L. 1. 2. 
B. capitatum. L. Strawberry Elite. This is a singular 
plant in its mode of bearing seed ; the flower-cup thickens and 
reddens, and surrounds the black seed, which finally falls out ; 
the fruit resembles the strawberry in general appearance. Its 
name implies the insipidity of the fruit, and the arrangement of 
the flowers. It is found in the waste places about yards. 

Salsola. L. 5. 2. Saltwort. 

The botanical and English names explain themselves. Near 
40 species have been described, most of which belong to the sea- 
coast of southern Europe. The plants of this genus are the chief 
source of soda ; the ashes being employed, as are the ashes of 
land plants to obtain potash, in the production of soda. 

&. kali L. A rough, prickly plant, growing along the sea- 
shore, of which S. Caroliniana, Mx., is probably only a variety 
growing in similar situations. 

&. salsa. Mx. Smooth Saltwort. Destitute of prickles, 
with fleshy leaves ; in salt marshes. Mr. Nuttall considers this 
the Chenopodium maritimum of Pursh. The only 2 species 
found in this country are indigenous also to Europe, and both are 
employed in obtaining the kelp, and thence the soda, of commerce. 

The extensive use of soda in the manufacture of hard soap and 
glass, as well as in bleaching and in medicine, shows the great 
importance of these vegetables. 

Salicornia. L. 1. 1. 

From words meaning salt horn^ and often called Saltwort. Of 
10 or more species, mostly in the South of Europe, only 3 are 
found along our coast. Sometimes called glassioort, from its use 
in the manufacture of glass. 

S. herbacea. L. Common or Marsh Samphire. Grows in 


salt marshes, with an erect stem destitute of leaves, and branch- 
ing with lateral and terminal, narrow spikes. 

It is an interesting fact, that this plant should be found at the 
salt springs along the shore of Lake Onondago, in the interior of 
New York, 260 miles from the salt water of the ocean. 

S. ambigua. Mx. A small plant, found in the vicinity of 
New Bedford. 

8. mucronata. Big. Dwarf Samphire. First described by 
Dr. Bigelow. It is also erect and leafless, thicker, and more 
fleshy, but much less than the first species, and is in similar 

Dr. Bigelow remarks, that the plants of this genus are used in 
producing soda, and on the table as pickles. 

ORDER 154. PHYTOLACCEjE. The Poke Tribe. 

The only genus of this order, north of Pennsylvania, is Phy- 
tolacca, ranked by Jussieu in the preceding order. Because 
the berries give a fine red juice like lac, this name is given to the 
genus, and thence to the order. Other species grow in North 
America, but only one at the North. 

P. decandra. L. 10. 10. Poke, or Virginia Poke, or Poke 
Weed. This is a large, fleshy plant, often 6 feet high, well known 
about hedges and open woods in dryish soils, rising from a very 
large root, and bearing large, scattered, and somewhat fleshy 
leaves ; berries of a dark purple, and very juicy ; a favorite food 
of robins and other birds, as they are moving southwards in autumn 
to their winter quarters. The violent emetic powers of the root 
are well known ; useful in medicine. Bigelow's £C Medical Bot- 
any." Blossoms in June to August ; flowers in large and long 
racemes, so that the dark red berries are finely arranged for 
beauty and show. ■ 


ORDER 156. POLYGONEiE. The Buckwheat Tribe. 

Calix inferior, divided, sometimes colored so as to resemble a 
corolla, bearing the stamens at its base ; nut naked or covered by 
the calyx, commonly triangular ; seed generally farinaceous ; 
leaves alternate, with stipules round the outside of the petioles ; 
flowers sometimes only bearing stamens or pistils, often in ra- 
cemes and beautiful, often coarse and unsightly. 

Polygonum. L. 8. 3. 
Named from the Greek, many knees or joints, from the form of 
the stem. About 70 species have been described, most of which 
are natives of Europe, and the north part of Asia ; 24 species 
are credited by Nuttall to North America ; and 17 species are 
found in this State, some of which have been introduced from the 
other side of the Atlantic. Some follow man, and make their 
home around his dwelling. 

P. aviculare. L. Knotgrass. Forming a thick carpet about 
houses, and by its seeds supporting small birds, whence its spe- 
cific name. Although unlike the grasses, yet, because its stem is 
jointed or knotted, and it is eaten by cattle, it is called Knot- 

P. persicaria. L. Heartease, or Heartspot. About gar- 
dens and fields, with a dark and rather heart-shaped spot on most 
of the leaves. 

P. punctatum. Ell. Water-pepper. In moist places, and 
about rubbish ; it is only a variety, and ought so to be named, 
of P. hydropiper, L. ; it yields a yellow dye, and is strongly 

P. hydropiperoides. Mx. Occasionally found about Boston. 

P. sagittatum. L. Prickly or Arrow-shaped Knotweed. 


Grows in wet places, with arrow-shaped leaves, and an exceed- 
ingly rough stem, with teeth backwards. 

P. arifolium. L. Has a stem like the other, but larger and 
stouter, and with much larger leaves, less distinctly sagittate, and 
more halberd-shaped ; grows in wet places, and is often associated 
with P. Pennsylvanicum, L., from which it is clearly separated, 
and yet resembles it. 

P. coccineum. Willd. Purple Knotweed. Named from the 
color of both the leaves and the dense spikes of flowers ; grows on 
the edges of ponds, with its long, smooth leaves, gracefully float- 
ing, greenish above, and purple or reddish below ; common about 
the ponds of Berkshire County, and also in the vicinity of Bos- 
ton ; blossoms in July. 

P. amphibium. L. Grows more out of the water than the 
last, and is eradicated with much difficulty from recovered lands. 

P. convolvulus. L. Bindweed or Bind-Knotweed. Alter- 
nate and heart-shaped leaves ; grows as a twining vine round 
other plants ; abundant in cultivated fields ; flowers unsightly. 

P. cilinode. Mx. Climbing Bindweed. Less common than 
the other, with deep, heart-shaped leaves, and climbing on and 
over other plants. 

P. scandens. L. Resembles Buckwheat in its flower and 
fruit, but climbs like the other. 

Some other species, P. articulatum, L., lapathifolium, L., 
mite , Pers., tenue, Mx., and Virginianum, L., are of still less 

P. fagopijrum. L. Buckwheat, or properly Beechwheat. 
So called from the close resemblance of its seeds to the seed of 
the Beech tree, or Fagus ; a native of Asia, partially naturalized 
in England and this country. The lateness of the season for 
sowing this seed, viz. about July 4th, its rather prolific character, 


the pleasantness of its flower as food for man, and its utility as a 
component of food for hogs, cattle, or horses, render it an im- 
portant vegetable. The flowers form a valuable source of honey 
for bees, though the honey is not so white, nor quite so pleasant, 
as that obtained from most other flowers. Another variety, re- 
quiring a longer time for ripening, is beginning to be introduced. 

P. orientale. L. Princess' Feather. Introduced from near 
Mount Ararat into Europe by Tournefort ; is a large and tall ex- 
otic, with large broad leaves, and flowers in long and flexuous 
and pendulous spikes of a bright-reddish color. Very handsome. 
It is said to be cultivated in the East for the medicinal qualities of 
the seeds, as well as for its flowers. Loudon. 

Rum ex. L. 6. 3. 

About 6 species are found in the State, while only one is very 
abundant. The leaves have ligules or bands around their base. 

R. acetosella. L. Sorrel, or Field Sorrel. This well-known 
plant appears everywhere over the dry, sandy fields that are ne- 
glected or untilled, and also, after the grain is harvested, often in 
good soils showing its brownish flowers in great abundance, and 
to the great annoyance of the farmer. The leaves are very dis- 
tinctly of the form of the ancient spear. The plant contains 
oxalic acid. 

R. crispus. L. Dock. This, with 2 other kindred species, 
needs few remarks. The root of the yellow dock is often used 
in the preparation of salves and ointments. 

R. pallidus. Big. White Dock. This new species was 
first described by Dr. Bigelow. It occurs about salt marshes in 
the vicinity of Boston. 

The dock is used sometimes as a pot-herb. The whole num- 
ber of species is nearly 50, most of which are weeds, and have 
little value in the arts or for food. Three other species, acutus, 
L., Britannicus, L., and obtusifolius, L., are found in the State. 


Rheum. L. 9. 3. Rhubarb. 

The name of the genus is from Rha, the ancient name of the 
Volga, on whose banks grows the rhubarb used in medicine. 

R. rhaponticum. Willd. Pie-Rhubarb. Shows its origin in 
the specific name ; a native of Thrace, and cultivated for orna- 
ment and for use. Its large, long, leaf-stalks, full of juicy acid, 
are often used to make tarts, at a time when the common ma- 
terials usually fail. 

R. palmatum. L. Rhubarb. Introduced from Asia, and 
rarely cultivated. The root, so important in medicine, and im- 
ported as Chinese, Russian, &c. Rhubarb, is cultivated on the 
southern declivities of the mountains of Tartary, towards Thibet, 
and in China. 

ORDER 158. NYCTAGINE^E. The Marvel Tribe. 

Called after the genus Nydago of the French, from the Greek 
drive and night, because its flowers expand by night, and are 
closed much of the day. The plants are natives of the warmer 
parts of the world. 

Mirabilis. L. 5. 1. Noonsleep, or Four o'clock. 

M. jalapa. L. From the West Indies, red, white, and yel- 
low flowered ; beautiful for gardens ; common. 

M. dichotoma. W. From Mexico, with sessile and solitary 

M. longiflora. W. From Mexico, with crowded, long 
flowers, and somewhat villous leaves. The last two not so com- 
monly cultivated as the first, and yet handsome. 

The general property of the class is cathartic ; but most of the 
species have little beauty. 



Only one species is found in North America ; a few are found 
in South America, and the African Islands. Herbs with floating 
stems, and capillary or linear leaves irregularly divided, or minute 
and imbricated. Flowers small, naked, bursting through a spathe, 
monoecious, without calix or corolla. 

PODOSTEMUM. L. 19. 2. 

P. ceratophyllum. Mx. Threadfoot. Grows on rocks in 
streams, with a filiform stem, and floating with its pinnate leaves 
and axillary flowers ; blossoms in July ; near Amherst. 


One genus and 3 species make up this order in North America, 
and 2 of the 3 species are in Massachusetts. The relations of 
plants of this order are little understood. 

Callitriche. L. 1. 2. Water-Star. 

C. verna. Muhl. Named from the Greek, beautiful hair. 

It is a small plant. Stem floating, filiform, with small, lanceolate, 

opposite leaves, spatulate, and obovate, forming star-like tufts at 

the end of the stems ; fresh water ; blossoms in May to August. 

C. linearis, Ph. Seems to be C. autumnalis, L., and differs 
little from the preceding, except in its more linear leaves ; grows 
in the same situations. 


Only 1 genus and 2 species known in North America. Like 
the preceding order, the relations are scarcely made out, and the 
orders become isolated genera. 

Ceratophyllum. L. 19. 12. 

C. demersum. L. Hornwort. The name means horn-leaf, 


and the fruit has 3 spines upon it. Stem long and slender, float- 
ing, with whorled leaves in eights ; flowers axillary, solitary, very 
minute ; found in ditches in Europe, and in similar places in 
Nantucket ; July. 

2. Monopetalous Plants. 

We come now to a subdivision of the plants of this class, which 
is artificial, and yet very important in ascertaining the plants, and 
easily distinguishing them. The corolla is monopetalous, or the 
supposed divisions of the petals cohere into a tube. Only a few 
of the polypetalous corollas cohere at the base so as to be mono- 
petalous, and form exceptions to this arrangement. 

ORDER 173. PYROLACEiE. The Winter-Green 


Calyx 5-leafed, inferior, and persistent, with an hypogynous 
corolla of one petal, regular, 4 or 5-toothed ; stamens hypogy- 
nous, double the number of the divisions of the corolla ; ovary 
superior, 4 or 5-celled, many-seeded ; style one, often declined 
towards one side ; stems round, scaly ; flowers in terminal ra- 
cemes, seldom solitary. 

The plants love the woods, and abound in the northern tem- 
perate zone. 

The species of this order seem to have no very distinguishing 

Pyrola. L. 10. 1. Winter Green. 

A name considered as a diminutive of Pyrus, and the common 
name, from many of the species being evergreen. Astringent and 
tonic. The plants, though not very handsome, are singular and 
interesting ; 7 species are found in the State, and about 12 in 
North America. Calyx minute, 5-cleft, or 5-parted ; capsule 
5-celled, and stigma 5-lobed. 

P. rotundifolia. L. Shin Leaf. A native of open woods 
in a light soil, bearing 2 or 3 roundish leaves at the base, and the 


flowers near the summit of a stalk near a foot high ; flowers in 
July. The leaves are in popular use as a dressing for sores on 
the legs, as having one side drawing, and the other healing. 

P. secunda. L. One-sided Winter Green. Much smaller, 
and with flowers more 1 -sided, but much like the preceding ; 
grows in woods also ; July. 

P. maculata. L. Spotted Winter Green. A handsome 
plant, with variegated leaves ; woods ; July ; resembles the 

P. umbellata. L. Prince's Pine. In some sections of the 
country, this plant is known by the Indian name Pipsissawa, or 
Sipsissewa. A handsome evergreen, and, from the brightness of 
its leaves in the snows, has been called Chimaphila, or lover of 

Stern scarcely a foot high, with thick, leathery, wedge-form 
leaves along the lower half of the stem, the upper half ending in 
a few large, greenish-white, and purplish flowers, in a nodding co- 
rymb ; blossoms in July. Medicinal. Bigelow's " Medical 
Botany." A decoction of the plant has been supposed to be a 
remedy for cancer. 

P. uniflora. L. Has a solitary white flower on a small short 
stem, with roundish leaves ; blossoms in July ; found near Salem, 
by Mr. Oakes, who has so successfully examined the botany of 
New England, and especially of this State. It is a native of 
Britain also, and said, by Sir J. E. Smith, to be " one of the 
most curious and elegant of British flowers." Loudon. 

P. asarifolia, Mx. Resembles P. rotundifolia, but distinguish- 
ed from all the species by its large, leathery, reniform leaves. 

P. elliptica. Nutt. Seems to approach very near to P. ro- 
tundifolia,) but possibly to be distinguished by its white and odo- 
rous flowers and rather elliptic leaves ; July ; dry woods. 


Several of the species are certainly but little removed from 
each other, if they are more than varieties. 

Monotropa. L. 10. 1. 

As the flowers mostly turn down, or are nodding, the plants are 
named from the Greek, to turn one way. There is no green her- 
bage to them, but they are white, or yellowish, or rather light 

M. uniflora. L. Tobacco Pipe ; the form of which, and 
color, it greatly resembles, though its stem is rather short, white, 
4 inches high, with small, sessile, and white leaves or scales ; 
flowers single, large, commonly nodding ; shady woods ; June. 
Changes to a dark color in drying ; is a singular and handsome 

J\f. lanuginosa. Mx. Pine Sap. Resembles the preceding, 
but its flowers are along the stem, and several, and the stem, 4-6 
inches long, is sometimes branched, and always scaly, and some- 
what hairy or woolly ; is enlarged under ground, and covered 
with scales, and its numerous radicles descend into the earth. 
By many the plant is considered a parasytic, deriving nourishment 
by its roots from the roots of other plants. 

ORDER 174. CAMPANULACE.E. The Bell-Flower 


This order has a 1 -leafed calyx united to the rudiment of the 
seed-vessel, and a 1-petalled corolla on the calyx, with as many 
stamens rising from the calyx as there are divisions of the corolla; 
ovary superior ; leaves commonly alternate ; plants yield a white 
milk. Belong chiefly to the northern parts of the earth ; beauty 
is their chief property. 

Campanula. L. 5. 1. Bell Flower. 
Named from the resemblance of the flower to a small bell. 
More than 110 species have been described, though only 3 appear 
in this State ; all yield beautiful flowers, grow in the borders of 


hedges and open woods, or in moist situations among grass and 
other plants. 

C. rotundifolia. L. Hair Bell, or Scotch Bell. A beautiful 
and slender plant, with fine blue flowers, and radical leaves, 
roundish ; woods ; June. As the stem leaves are long, linear, 
and give the plant the appearance of flax, it is sometimes called 
Flax Bell. 

C. aparinoides. L. Prickly Bell. Has a slender and branch- 
ed stem, a foot high, with small white flowers ; June ; wet 

C. perfoliata. L. Clasping Bell Flower. Stem about a 
foot high, erect, and angular, with cordate, clasping leaves, and 
not perfoliate in fapt ; flowers small, sessile, in the axils of the 

C. speculum. L. Garden Bell Flower. Has long been 
cultivated in gardens ; a large branching plant, bearing large, 
light-blue, and whitish flowers, and having large leaves ; it re- 
ceives its specific name from the resemblance of the flower, as 
you look into it, to a mirror or hand speculum, and hence called 
Venus' Looking Glass ; it is a splendid flower, and a native of 
southern Europe. 

C. medium. L. Common Bell Flower. Came into Eng- 
land from Germany in 1597, and thence to our country, under 
the name of Canterbury Bell ; is a very beautiful flower of differ- 
ent colors, commonly blue or white, single, and often double ; 
never can fail to be admired, while plants shall be cultivated ; is 
a plant very easy to be reared, and its flowers blossom for a long 

C. pyramidalis, L., and some others, have been introduced, 
and are found in gardens. 


ORDER 175. LOBELIACE.E. The Cardinal-Flower 


Calyx superior, 5-lobed, or entire, with an irregular, 1-petalled 
corolla, 5-lobed, or 5-cleft ; stamens 5, inserted into the calyx ; 
ovary inferior, 1 - 3-celled ; leaves alternate. 

Acrid and dangerous plants, and some are very poisonous ; 
they abound within and near the tropics. 

Lobelia. L. 5. 1. 

Named in honor of Lobel of Lisle, physician and botanist to 
James the First of England. Nearly 100 species have been de- 
scribed ; about a dozen belong to North America, and 7 to this 
State ; only 3 to Europe. 

Stamens united into a tube towards the summit ; corolla ir- 
regular, cleft on the upper side towards the base. 

L. cardinalis. L. Cardinal Flower. Grows on the banks 
of streams in alluvial soil, and in alluvial meadows and low 
grounds, 2 or 3 feet high, leafy, and bearing a long spike of fine 
scarlet flowers, and hence its common name. It is a splendid 
plant when in flower, and is found over much of the United States ; 
it is easily cultivated in gardens, and forms a fine border flower. 

L. fulgens, W., and L. splendens, W., both from Mexico, are 
the two other "grand ornaments of this genus." All are culti- 
vated in England, with more than 30 other species. Loudon. 

- L. inflata. L. Indian Tobacco. The leaves contain a 
white, viscid juice of a very acrid taste, and very poisonous to 
the human system ; the plant operates as a violent emetic, and is 
the dangerous medicine of many who are called vegetable doctors, 
or botanic physicians. This species is spread extensively over 
the fields, and in waste grounds, varying much in height, and 
when over a foot high is much branched, bearing small, light-blue 
flowers ; the fruit-vessel enlarges, and becomes much inflated in 


The driveling of horses which are pastured in August and 
September, is attributed to the noxious salivating properties of 
this plant. 

L. pallida. Muhl. A common plant over fields, 1-2 feet 
high, slender, not branched, with quite small flowers, bluish, and 
the spatulate root-leaves early decaying ; June and July. 

L. Kalmii. L. As tall as the last, but more slender ; entire 
leaves linear, and flowers on long foot-stalks ; fields ; much more 
rare than the others. 

L. Dortmanna. L. Common to Britain and this country ; 
stem a foot or more high, with pale-blue flowers, pendulous, and 
remotely racemed ; swamps and wet grounds ; July. 

L. syphilitica. L. From 1 to 3 feet high, and larger in pro- 
portion than the others, with sessile, ovate-lanceolate leaves, and 
large blue flowers on short pedicels ; swamps ; August and Sep- 
tember. If this plant ever had any special action upon the dis- 
ease after which it is named, and which is the manifest curse of 
divine providence upon the particular guilt of man, it appears long 
since to have been deprived of its influence. 

L. Nuttallii, R. and S., seems to occur in a few places, in 
swamps ; small, filiform, 2 feet high, with oblong -linear leaves. 

ORDER 181. CUCURBITACEJE. The Gourd Tribe. 

Calyx 5-toothed, sometimes obsolete ; corolla with 5 divisions*, 
scarcely distinguishable from the calyx, with strongly marked 
veins ; stamens 5, distinct, or cohering in 3 parcels ; stigma very 
thick ; ovary inferior, 1 -celled, and the fruit fleshy, succulent, 
showing the scar of the calyx, and having flat seeds ; stem suc- 
culent, climbing by means of tendrils or rooting by them ; leaves 
palmate, or with palmate ribs, succulent ; flowers white, red, 
yellow, usually diclinous, or with stamens and pistils in different 
flowers, sometimes monoclinous. 


Many useful plants are in this order, some for food, some for 
medicine ; some are poisonous. Chiefly natives of the tropics. 

Cucurbita. L. 19. 15. 
From a word that means a vessel, from the use to which the 
shell of the fruit of some species was anciently applied, as the 
gourd. The 13 species are chiefly of Indian and African origin ; 
none indigenous to this part of the country. 

C. pepo. L. Pompion, or Pumpkin. From the Levant. 

C. ovifera. * L. Egg Squash. From Astracan. 

C. verrucosa. L. Club Squash. From the Levant. 

C. melopepo. L. Flat Squash. From the Levant. 

C. lagenaria. L. Gourd, Calabash. From India. 

C. citrullus. L. Water Melon. From the South of Europe. 

Of most of these species, there are several varieties, differing 
in some character of importance. Of the Water Melon, some 
are large, and with large seeds, and of reddish or white color 
within ; others are small, and have small seeds, and some citron- 
like, and yet retaining their peculiarities with much constancy. 

Of the Squash, each kind has endless varieties ; and, unless 
they are cultivated separately, there can be no dependence upon 
the variety that may be hoped for from the seed. 
• The Pompion, or Pumpkin, for so it is written in England as well 
as in the United States, is more certain, and the varieties are more 
permanent. The seven-year pumpkin is a great curiosity, for its 
unchanging nature ; I have seen one which appeared fully sound 
and unaltered, which was more than three years old, and had 
stood upon a shelf exposed to all the common changes of the air. 
The common pumpkin is the standard variety, and too useful to 
need remark. Its seeds are distinctly diuretic, and, in some de- 
gree, the fleshy part of the fruit. One variety grows to an enormous 


size ; and that from Ohio is remarkably sweet. In England the 
pumpkin is cultivated to considerable extent. " When the fruit 
is ripe, they cut a hole on one side, and having taken out the 
seeds, fill the void space with sliced apples, adding a little sugar 
and spice, and then, having baked the whole, eat it with butter, 
under the name of pumpkin pie." Loudon. This English pie 
is very different from the pumpkin pie of New England, so 
necessary to Thanksgiving, that a Yankee, it is said, cannot be 
without it, and that in one town the good people actually post- 
poned the day of Thanksgiving till the needed molasses should 
arrive for its composition. Our pumpkin pie is likely to be a 
permanent manufacture and article of consumption in the season, 
and not to be displaced by any substitute. 

Cucumis. L. 19. 15. 

Has a similar derivation with the preceding genus, and its 17 
species chiefly belong to the eastern continent. We are familiar 
only with 2 species, both natives of India. 

C. sativus. L. Cucumber. Too well known to need de- 
scription, and, by cultivation, now showing nearly a dozen varie- 
ties, half that number being common in the gardens. 

C. melo. L. Muskmelon. The reason of the English name 
is obvious to all who have tasted this fruit. The specific name 
is derived from the Greek word for apple, from the shape of some 
varieties of this melon, as that of C. colocynthis, which has the 
" size and color of the orange." One variety of the Muskmelon 
is commonly called canteleup, or, as often written, cantelope, a 
very delicious fruit. There are many varieties cultivated, as the 
yellow, long, netted, green, citron, nutmeg, egg, &c. 

MOMORDICA. L. 19. 15. 

Has its name from the Latin to chew, from the chewed appear- 
ance of the seeds ; has about a dozen species, nearly all belong- 
ing to India. 

M. echinata. Muhl. Balsam Apple. Wild Cucumber. 


Found on the banks of streams, on the Connecticut and Housa- 
tonic Rivers ; a climbing vine, with cordate, 5-lobed leaves, and 
tendrils ; fruit 2-4 inches long, thick, covered with prickles, 
echinate, and having 4 large, long, and thick seeds ; blossoms in 

Sicyos. L. 19. 15. 

One of the Greek names for Cucumber ; a few species further 

5. angulatus. L. Single-seeded Cucumber. Grows also 
on the banks of streams ; often cultivated, as it will run far, and 
form a dense and large arbor ; a climbing, small vine, with whitish 
flowers, and greenish ; bears several fruits in one cluster, each 
about an inch or more long, and containing one very large seed ; 
blooms from June to September ; leaves large, cordate, angu- 
lar, toothed. 

The powerful cathartic of the shops, known as Elaterium, is 
merely the inspissated juice of the fruit, known under the title of 
squirting cucumber, M. elaterium, L., because the ripe fruit 
throws out its juice and seeds with much force ; this is a native 
of the South of Europe, and sometimes found in our more ex- 
tensive gardens. 

ORDER 182. PLANTAGINE.E. The Rib-Grass 


Only one genus in this order belongs to Massachusetts. The 
plants are commonly without a stem, that is, they have only a 
flower-stalk, their leaves are radical, and their flowers in a long 
spike. The calyx and corolla are distinct, the former being 4- 
leafed, and the latter 4-parted ; the flowers unattractive. 

Plantago. L. 4. 1. 

P. major. L. Common Plantain. One of the plants that 
seem to follow man in the temperate climes, so that where he 
rears a hut or tills the soil, it appears to cheer him on his way. 
The Indians called it the White Man's Foot. Leaves somewhat 


mucilaginous, and formerly used as an application to sores. 
Small birds feed on its seeds, and probably some insects. Com- 
mon over Europe ; introduced into the United States, and the 
following species also. 

P. lanceolata. L. Ribwort. Has long and narrow leaves, 
strongly nerved, with a short dense spike of flowers, and is usually 
taller than the other ; stem often near 2 feet high ; upland mead- 
ows and fields ; indigenous to Britain. 

P. maritima. L. Sea Plantain. Grows on salt marshes, 
with short fleshy leaves, very variable in length, as well as in 
abundance of flowers. Found along our coast ; but said to grow 
on mountains also in Europe ; indigenous to both continents. 

ORDER 183. PLUMBAGINEiE. The Leadwort 


Named from Plumbago, an important genus, which had the 
reputation anciently of curing a disease of the eyes called plum- 
bum ; but of the genus no species belongs to New England. 

The plants of the order have very opposite qualities ; a species 
of some importance is in this State. 

Statice. L. 5. 5. 

S. limonum. L. Marsh Rosemary. Grows in salt marshes ; 
rather showy, quite branching, full of small flowers ; radical leaves, 
shorter than the stem. The root yields an important astringent, 
and is much used by physicians ; Bigelow's " Medical Botany. " 
About 30 species of Statice are cultivated in England, and are 
considered quite ornamental plants. The species just mentioned 
is indigenous to England as well as this country. 

Statice has its name from a Greek word, to stop, because it 
stops certain diseases. Loudon. 


ORDER 184. DIPSACE^E. The Scabious Tribe. 

In this order, the flowers form a head or tuft, aggregated into a 
mass more or less dense, and surrounded with calyx-like leaves, 
called an involucre, while the proper, inner calyx is connected 
with the germ, and bears the corolla inserted towards its top. 

Dipsacus. L. 4. 1. Teasel. 
Named from the Greek, to thirst, on account of the water, which 
is commonly found in the axils of the leaves, and which has been 
considered a cosmetic. Loudon. 

D. sylvestris. L. Wild Teasel. Grows 2-5 feet high, 
branching, bearing large terminal heads of flowers ; chaff stiff and 
straight, and leaves opposite, and nearly growing together at the 
base ; blossoms in July ; in light soil, in Sheffield, Berkshire 
County. Whoever has travelled on the Great Western Canal in 
midsummer to October, must have remarked the abundance of this 
plant along the banks of the canal west of Utica, for more than 
100 miles. It is supposed that it was introduced from England. 

D. fullonum. L. Fuller's Teasel. Cultivated for the sake 
of the heads, which are used for raising the nap on cloth, by 
means of the hooked chaff of the mature head ; leaves opposite. 
The plant is usually a profitable culture. A native of Britain. 

ORDER 186. COMPOSITE. The Compound Flowers. 

This is a natural and large assemblage of plants, having com- 
pound flowers, formed of many florets in one head or mass, and 
stands on a broad base or receptacle, surrounded by a leafy invo- 
lucre, and having the anthers of the 5 filaments united in a tube. 
Thistle, Dandelion, Mayweed, Burdock, are well known instan- 
ces. The calyx, if there is any, adheres to the seed, and often 
terminates upwards in a membrane, or chaff, bristle, horn, hair, 
or the like ; the corolla is simply tubular, or else ligulate or strap- 
like, long and flat, as in the Sunflower, or funnel-shaped, and, in 


both these cases, notched or toothed ; ovary inferior, with a single 
style usually forked into 2 stigmas ; florets often have chaffy, or 
scaly, or hairy bracts at their base, generally perfect and monocli- 
nous, but a few are diclinous ; leaves alternate or opposite, com- 
monly simple. 

Great numbers of this order occur in this State, and are spread 
over the world. In France and Germany, they form about one 
eighth of the flowering plants ; in North America one sixth, and 
between the tropics nearly one half. Humboldt. Many of this order 
have valuable properties, while a great proportion of them have 
not yet been applied to any useful purpose. Their flowers form 
much of the beauty of the later summer and autumn, and for this 
reason many are cultivated. 

The order is distinguished into 3 families or subdivisions, by 
Lindley, and variously subdivided by other authors. It may not 
be necessary for this survey, to follow any subdivisions. 

Arctium. L. 17. 1. 
A. lappa. L. Burdock. A well-known plant in waste 
grounds, indigenous to Britain, whence it was introduced into this 
country. It has its name from the Greek, meaning a bear, on ac- 
count of its rough fruit, and its specific name from the Celtic, a 
hand, because its fruit lays hold of all that comes in contact with 
it. It is a dock-like looking plant, and, from its burs, is appropri- 
ately called Burdock. Its leaves have been a common applica- 
tion among the people for draughts upon the feet, and the soften- 
ing of some tumors. Its leaves, soon after flowering, contain a 
large proportion of potash. 

Leontodon. L. 17. 1. 

L. taraxacum. L. Dandelion. Another common plant 
about houses, and over fields, introduced from Britain. The 
leaves are radical, and cut into segments or large teeth standing 
backwards like the teeth of the lion, whence its name, from the 
two Greek words of this signification ; the English name is a cor- 
ruption of the French, and has the same meaning. Used as a 
diuretic. The extract has obtained some reputation in medicine. 
In the spring, the herbage is often used for greens, as it is pleasant 


and healthful. The expressed juice of the leaves is often drunk 
as a remedy in dyspepsia. 4 other species are found in Europe. 
Forms a very profitable crop near cities. 

Krigia. L. 17. 1. Dwarf Dandelion. 
K. Virginica. L. A small, humble plant, much resembling 
a neglected dandelion ; grows in fields and open woods ; blos- 
soms from May to August, with a scape often only 2-3 inches 

K. amplexicaulis. Nutt. Has a stem a foot high, divided 
into branches, and yet like a scape or radical flower-stalk ; flowers 
large, orange-yellow, terminating the branches ; has little interest ; 
blossoms in June. 

This is a North American genus, and was named after Dr. 
Krieg, a German botanist, who collected plants in this country. 

Apargia. W. 17. 1. 

Ji. autumnalis. W. False Hawkweed. Has single yellow 
flowers on a scape, with radical leaves, toothed or pinnatified ; 
resembles Dandelion ; a mere weed ; flowers from July to Sep- 
tember. Introduced from Europe, where about a dozen other 
species are found. 

Cichorium. L. 17. 1. 

C. intybus. L. Succory. Endive. An elegant plant, 2 or 
3 feet high, roughish, with large blue flowers, mostly in pairs along 
the stem ; roadsides and pastures ; July to September ; leaves 

The blanched leaves are eaten as a winter-sallad. In France, 
it is said, the roots of one variety are dried and ground with 
coffee, to give it a more exquisite flavor. Loudon. 

C. endivia. L. The Endive of the English, brought from 
the East Indies ; cultivated for its blanched leaves ; much like 


Lactuca. L. 17. 1. Lettuce. 
Three species indigenous to this State ; two, integrifolia, and 
sanguinea, Big., chiefly about Boston, and first described by Dr. 
Bigelovv ; another, villosa, has also been found. 

L. elongata. Tall or Wild Lettuce. A large, strong plant, 
often 6 or more feet high, about fences in cultivated fields, with 
long and large runcinate leaves, clasping the stem. Totally dif- 
ferent from Fireiceed. 

In the gardens are cultivated several varieties of L. saliva, L., 
Common Lettuce. As a sallad, few plants compare with these 
varieties. As food, it is a rather soporiferous but healthful vege- 

The genus is named from the milky juice of the leaves, in 
which is contained some opium. Indeed, this drug, little inferior 
to the opium of the poppy, has been obtained in England and in 
this country by incisions in the plants. Cultivation lessens the 
quantity of the juice. L. elongata yields it in great quantity 
and perfection. About 20 species are indigenous to Britain, or 
cultivated there. 

Prenanthes. L. 17. 1. 

The name is derived from the Greek for drooping flower, a 
common character of the species. 

4 species, natives of this country, are found in this State ; con- 
tain a white juice, and resemble Wild Lettuce. 

P. alba. L. White Lettuce. About fields, 4-5 feet high. 

P. altissima. L. Tall, often 6 feet high, in woods. None 
of the species of any use in New England. P. cordata, Ph., 
and P. virgata, Mx., are distinguished, the former by yellowish, 
the latter by pale-purple flowers. One species, P. serpentaria, 
Ph., which grows in the Southern States, and is called Lion's 
Foot, is used for the cure of the bite of the rattlesnake ; it does 
not greatly differ from P. alba. 


Sonchus. L. 17. 1. 

Name derived from the Greek, for soft or hollow, as the plants 
have a soft and feeble as well as hollow stem. 
Four species are found in the State. 

S. oleraceus. L. Sow Thistle. Grows in gardens and waste 
grounds about houses and barns ; about 3 feet high, smooth, brit- 
tle, easily crushed, with clasping leaves, runcinate, and with spiny 
teeth ; a late plant, flowers in August and September. Has prop- 
erties similar to Dandelion ; eaten by rabbits, but rejected by 
most animals ; odor unpleasant. Introduced from Britain. 

S. leucophceus. L. A similar plant. 

8. acuminatus. W. Has small, numerous, blue flowers ; on 
low grounds, and rare ; August. 

/S. spinulosis. Big. Prickly Sea Thistle. Grows about 
salt marshes, 2 feet high ; lobes of leaves curl backwards, and clasp 
the stem, and have edges waved ; flowers somewhat umbel-form, 
yellow ; August. 

At the South, another species, there indigenous, &. Floridanus, 
W., is used as a remedy for the poison of the rattlesnake, and is 
called Gall of the Earth. Pursh. 

Tragopogon. W. 17. 1. 
T. porrifolium. W. Vegetable Oyster, or Goat's Beard. 
The genus is named from the Greek, for Goat's Beard, on ac- 
count of the long, hairy beard of the seeds, and the species from 
the resemblance of the leaf of the young plant to that of the leek 
or onion ; introduced from England, and cultivated for its roots, 
which, prepared in certain modes, have the odor and flavor of the 
oyster. On the continent of Europe, the long tapering roots are 
used for food, like the parsnip. It is sown in the spring, and the 
roots are used in the following winter and spring ; blossoms the 
second season. The plants, from the self-sown seeds of August, 
blossom the next season. 


Hieracium. L. 17. 1. Hawkweed. 
Five species, H. venosum, L., Gronovii, L., Kahnii, L., maria- 
nm?i, W., and paniculatum, W., are common in the borders of 
fields and woods, all natives of this country. The genus has 
about 80 species, of which nearly seven-tenths are indigenous to 
Europe, and one tenth to North America. Very few of them 
appear to have much of either utility or beauty. 

H. venosum. L. Stem 2 feet high, naked and branching, 
with long radical leaves, strongly marked with dark-red veins. 

It seems to have been a notion, that the hawk strengthened its 
vision by the juice of some of these plants ; hence the English 
name, and also the generic name from the Greek for a hawk. 

Liatris. L. 17. 1. 

L. scariosa. W. Gay Feather. A splendid plant, when its 
long raceme is in full blossom ; flowers of a bright-blue, on a 
simple stem, with long leaves, narrowed at both ends ; blossoms 
in August ; Danvers. Cultivated in gardens for its beauty. 

L. spicata. W. Another beautiful species ; a cultivated but 
more rare plant ; flowers purple. 

This is an American genus of near 20 species, usually found 
in more southern latitudes. The origin of the generic name is 
not known ; the English name is truly characteristic. The spe- 
cies are considered an antidote for the bite of the rattlesnake, 
and L. scariosa is often called Rattlesnake's Master. 

Vernonia. L. 17. 1. 
An American genus of 10 species ; one in India. Named 
after William Vernon, who collected plants in America. 

V. Noveboraccnsis. W. Flat Top. Stem 3-5 feet high, 
branching at the top, and the flowers spread out on branches, so 
as to be nearly flat and level, with numerous scabrous leaves ; 
flowers small and dark-purple ; wet places. 


Carduus. L. 17. 1. 

A numerous genus, from which a large number of species was 
separated under the generic name, Cnicus, by Willdenow. Both 
names are derived from words which mean points or prickles, as 
the plants are usually full of prickles or spears. Of more 
than 100 species, the far greater portion belong to Europe, about 
a dozen to North America, and 7 are found in Massachusetts. 
They are here ranked under Carduus, and have little beauty ; 
most are weeds, and some very troublesome. 

C. discolor, Muhl., and C. lanceolatus, W., are the Common 
Thistles of our fields, the latter being found in waste places and 
along fences, and much more abundant than the other ; its heads 
of flowers are rather smaller and with more tapering cones. The 
latter was introduced from Europe, but the former is a native 
of this country, and has been cultivated in some of the great 
gardens of England. 

C. glutinosus. Big. One of the handsomest species ; in damp, 
rich soils ; August, and biennial. Big. 

C. altissimus. W. Tall Thistle. Another native of this 
country, 6-10 feet high, not very rough ; meadows ; August. 

C. horridulus, Ph., and C. pumilus, Nutt., are found in the 
vicinity of Boston. Big. 

C. arvensis. L. Canada Thistle. From its being propa- 
gated from Canada southwards ; the common field thistle in Eu- 
rope, as well as Canada and the Northern States. Within the 
memory of men now living, this plant came into the northern part 
of Vermont and New York, and has since spread to the south 
part of New England and New York. In 1818 it had not been 
seen by Nuttall in Pennsylvania, and was not in the " Plants of 
Chester County, Pennsylvania," published by Dr. Darlington, 
in 1826. By some it has been supposed, that its seeds were 
wafted across the Atlantic from the North of Europe by winds, 


but far more probably the seeds have been brought with other 
seeds, or in hay or straw. In Europe it is the same vexatious 
plant as in this country. It is propagated by its roots as well as 
by seeds. The roots extend many feet in depth, as well as far in 
a horizontal direction, and send out many runners. The only 
effectual eradication of the plant is cutting it down annually before 
it blossoms, till the vital energy of the roots is exhausted. Its 
course southwards is sure, and nothing but climate will arrest its 
progress over the land. Its numerous seeds afford food to many 
smaller birds and animals. 

C. pectinatus. W. Comb-Thistle. With purple flowers, 
and comb-like pinnatifid leaves, without prickles, rarely cultivated 
in gardens. 

Onopordum. L. 17. 1. 

O. acanthium. L. Cotton Thistle. As its leaves resemble 
those of Acanthus, its specific name was derived from it ; a 
native of Britain, not very extensively spread over this State ; 
stem 4-6 feet high, with broad, long, spinous leaves, sessile, 
running down the stem and forming wings to it, and being covered 
with a matted, cottony substance, giving a hoary appearance to the 
plant ; seeds large, and not blown about by the seed-down ; at 
Pittsfield and Lanesborough, in Berkshire County, as well as in 
the eastern part of the State. If it were not so rough, it would 
be a noble plant, as it is a curious one. 

Carthamus. L. 17. 1. Common Saffron. 

From the Arabic, to paint, on account of its coloring matter. 

C. tinctorius. L. The common Saffron of the gardens, 
used by the Chinese for beautiful colors of their silks, and in parts 
of Europe for coloring soups and puddings, cakes and bread ; its 
flowers medicinal also ; native of Egypt. 

C. cceruleus. L. Blue Saffron. Is sometimes cultivated. 

EUPATORIUM. L. 17. 1. 

An extensive genus, of near 80 species, chiefly found in 


America, and not one in Europe ; named from Eupator, king 
of Pontus, who first used an Asiatic species in medicine. 11 
species are credited to this State, 6 of which are widely spread 
over it ; the others are not very common, and have not much 

E. ovatum. Big. A new species ; a large and rough plant, 
3-4 feet high ; in low grounds, at Sudbury. Big. 

E. perfoliatum. L. Thoroughwort. Boneset. A well- 
known plant in fields, with opposite leaves growing together at 
their base, or pierced by the stem, woolly. Its medicinal prop- 
erties render it a valuable plant. Bigelow's " Medical Botany." 

E. purpurea,™, L. and E. verticillatum, L., often called Queen 
of the Meadow, and Joe Pye Weed. Grow 3-5 feet high, 
with whorled leaves, both bearing level-topped corymbs of purple 
flowers, and on low grounds. The latter is the rougher plant, 
less purple on its stem, and with its stem less frequently hollow. 
A decoction of the roots is often used in the western part of the 
State as a remedy for the painful disease, the gravel ; said to have 
been recommended to the whites by an Indian of the name above. 

E. ageratoides. W. Rather elegant in its form, and delicate 
in its white flowers, beautifully corymbed ; about hedges, and in 
open woods, in rather moist grounds. Besides these, there are 
the E. aromaticum, L., teucrifolium, L., hyssopifolium, L., sessili- 
folium, L., and maculatum, L. 

MlKANIA. W. 17. 1. 

M. scandens. W. Climbing Thoroughwort. Named after 
Professor Mikan, of Prague. Loudon. 

Stem smooth, twining, with glabrous and opposite leaves on 
long petioles ; resembles the last genus ; in the middle and east- 
ern part of the State ; wet places ; flowers in August. Big. 

Conyza. L. 17. 2. 
From the Greek, a gnat or flea, as it was thought to drive away 


these insects ; the name in English and in French, is founded on 
the same tradition. It contains many species, spread over the 

C. camphorata. Muhl. Marsh Fleabane. Stem 20 inches 
high, with pubescent leaves, thick and erect, branching and bear- 
ing corymbs of purple flowers ; grows in the western part of the 
State, as well as on salt marshes. The bruised leaves have an 
aromatic, not pleasant odor. 

Gnaphalium. L. 17. 2. Cudweed. 
More than 100 species ; 10 found in this country, and 7 in this 
Commonwealth ; not of much consequence ; the name was an- 
ciently applied to a plant not certainly determined. 

G. margaritaceum. L. Life Everlasting. A common downy 
or woolly plant, over fallow fields, about 2 feet high, bearing many 
very white or pearly flowers, remaining through winter to spring. 
It has a slight odor, which is rather agreeable. 

The heads and some of the leaves are collected by the Shakers 
in Hancock to manufacture into mattresses, which are said to be 
pleasant and healthful. 

G. polycephalum. L. Wild Lavender. Sweet Life Ever- 
lasting. About the height of the other, and in similar situations, 
but is a greener plant, with many terminal flowers ; whole plant 
of a pleasant odor. 

G. decurrens. Ives. Strong-scented Everlasting. Much 
resembles the last, but its leaves are sessile, and running down 
the stem, downy on the under side ; odor too strong to be pleas- 
ant ; woods and fields. 

G. plantagineum. L. Mouse-Ear Everlasting. Rises early 
in the spring from a few inches to a foot in height, and flowers for 
a long time ; an insignificant plant, in cold grounds, abundant. 

Three other species, G. uliginosum, L., G. Gcrmanicum, Sm., 
and G. purpureum^ A., are less common, and of no importance. 


The first of these is a brownish, dirty, insignificant plant, 
low, and even prostrate in the dust, beside roads ; common every- 

Artemisia. L. 17. 2. Wormwood. 

Named perhaps after Artemisia, queen of Mausolus. Many 
species of the genus, chiefly on the eastern continent. 

A. abrotanum. L. Southernwood. An exotic of our gar- 
dens from the South of Europe, named from its supposed virtue 
in prolonging life, from the Greek, against mortality ; now con- 
sidered to possess feeble medicinal properties. 

A. absynthium. L. Garden Wormwood. Another well- 
known exotic from Europe ; its name is from the Greek, un- 
pleasant ; said to be tonic, antispasmodic, and anthelmintic ; also 
considered efficacious on wounds and bruises. Used to boil with 
clothes to take out stains and iron rust, probably from its contain- 
ing oxalic acid. Naturalized in many places. In New Ashford, 
Berkshire County, it fills the street for many rods, and a few 
years ago loads of it were cut and distilled for obtaining the oil of 
wormwood. It has compound hoary leaves. 

A. vulgaris. L. Mugwort. A native of Britain, and not 
often cultivated. 

A. Canadensis. Mx. Wild Wormwood. A small plant, 
with a stem somewhat woody ; leaves of many segments, and 
numerous flowers. Found in the vicinity of Amherst College, 
and on the beach at Plumb Island. 

Anthemis. L. 17. 2. 

A. cotula. L. Mayweed. From the Greek for a flower ; a 
low plant, too common on the roadsides and about houses to need 
description ; has some medicinal virtues ; native of Britain. 

A. nobilis. L. From Britain ; affords the common chamo- 
mile flowers. 


Chrysanthemum. L. 17. 2. 
Is named from its yellow flowers ; many species ; some without 
yellow flowers. 

C. leucanthemum. L. White Weed. Ox-Eye Daisy. The 

specific name is from its white flowers, so that the whole name 
means white-flowered yellow-flower. The English name well char- 
acterizes the appearance of the flower. 

A troublesome plant, spread over the fields and meadows of 
many portions of this State, to the great annoyance of the farmer, 
as it much diminishes the crop of grass, and is not itself much 
relished by cattle or horses. The only method to eradicate it is, 
early mowing before the seed is ripened, and, to be sure, as soon 
as it begins to blossom. In a few years, this course must greatly 
diminish it. A native of Britain. 

C. parthenium. L. Feverfew. An exotic from Europe, 
often found in gardens. 

C. coronarium. L. The common Chrysanthemum of gardens, 
affording beautiful flowers, a native of Sicily. 

In Europe C. Sinense, L., from China, is much cultivated as 
one of the most beautiful of autumnal flowers. It is also cul- 
tivated in this State. 

Achillea. L. 17. 2. 

Named from its fancied powerful properties, after Achilles, a 
physician. Of near 50 species, nearly all belong to Europe and 
the Levant. 

A. millefolium. L. Yarrow. Naturalized, and common by 
fences and in fields ; is a plant of little consequence. 3 or 4 
species are found in North America. The leaves are simple, but 
greatly divided, so as to look like many ; hence the specific name. 
A. ptarmica,L.) Goose Tongue, with leaves lanceolate, acumi- 
nate, and sharply serrate ; introduced ; has been found in Dan- 
vers, by Mr. Oakes. 


Tanacetum. L. 17. 2. Tansey. 
T. vulgare. L. Naturalized in many places. ■ Its stalk and 
leaves make it a handsome plant, and its deep yellow corymbs of 
flowers increase its beauty. The variety crispum has more beauti- 
ful crisped or curled leaves. Aromatic and very bitter ; formerly 
used to make rum more palatable, though it is hoped it will no 
longer be abused, with mint, in forming intoxicating juleps. The 
plant is stimulant, carminative, and sudorific ; a native of Britain. 

Inula. L. 17. 2. 

A genus whose species is spread over the world ; 24 species 
are native or cultivated in England. 

/. helenium. L. Elecampane. A large plant, with long and 
wide leaves, and numerous flowers of yellow color, common by 
roadsides. The root is tonic and expectorant, and seems to 
operate favorably upon the lungs when affected by colds. It is 
said to have been the active ingredient in a quack medicine, which 
found an extensive sale a few years ago. It is sometimes given 
to horses, cut up and mingled with oats, to relieve the disease 
commonly called heaves. 

Inulin is a peculiar vegetable compound found in the root, to 
the action of which its medicinal power is attributed. Townsend 
recommends an electuary of the roots with sulphur and honey, as 
beneficial to diseased lungs. The officinal name, Enula campana, 
originated the vulgar name, Elecampane. Loudon. 

I. falcata. Ph. A low plant, woolly, with sessile, acute, 
spreading leaves, and very small, bright, yellow flowers ; in pine 
woods ; New Bedford and Nantucket. 

Tussilago. L. 17. 2. 

From the Latin, to drive away cough, from its supposed efficacy 
in diseases of the lungs ; in modern times its medicinal virtues are 
not highly esteemed. 

T. farfara. W. Garden Colt's Foot. Named from the 


resemblance of the leaf to the shape of the base of a colt's foot ; 
and, as the woolly leaves resemble those of a Poplar, called Far- 
faruSj the specific name obtained. A single flower grows on a 
short, leafless, scaly stalk ; leaves radical, broad and large ; blos- 
soms early in the spring, before the leaves appear. A native of 
Britain, naturalized in many places. Expectorant ; its leaves 
were smoked in ancient times as a cure for diseases of the lungs. 

T. frigida. L. Wild Colt's Foot. Leaves triangular, 
heart-shaped, unequally toothed, and downy underneath ; produc- 
ing a corymb of white flowers, with a pale purplish disk ; has 
been found in the mountain woods in Massachusetts. Big. 

T. palmata. Ait. Has flowers in a corymb, with roundish, 
heart-shaped leaves, half 7-lobed, thick, downy beneath ; Sunder- 
land ; indigenous in North America. 

Bellis. L. 17. 2. Daisy. 

From a word meaning beautiful or pretty, and so true of the 
common daisy. 

B. perennis. L. A beautiful, white or purple-flowered plant, 
with leaves obovate and crenate ; a single flower on a scape ; 
partially naturalized in Pittsfield. Eaton. A native of Britain, 
of which there are several varieties. 

Tagetes. L. 17. 2. 
Named from Tages, a heathen, Tuscan divinity. 

T. erecta. W. African Mary gold. Is from Mexico ; has 
pinnate leaves, an angled calyx, and yellow flowers. 

T. patula. W. French Marygold. Also from Mexico ; has 
pinnate leaves, a smooth calyx, and yellow flowers. 

Both are rather beautiful, and cultivated for their beauty ; chiefly 
an American genus. 



Zinnia. W. 17. 2. 
Named after John Godfrey Zinn, who published a catalogue of 
plants in the garden of Gottingen. Loudon. 
An American genus of 5 species. 

Z. violacea, W., and Z. verticillata, W. Blood Marygold. 
Beautiful plants from Mexico, introduced within a few years into 
our gardens. 

Starkea. W. 17. 2. 

Named after the Rev. Mr. Starke, a botanist of Silesia ; only 
one species, a native of the island of Jamaica. 

S. umbellata. W. Lately introduced into flower-gardens, 
for its beauty. The leaves are opposite, nerved, and downy be* 
neath, and the flowers are in umbelliferous heads. 

Erigeron. L. 17. 2. Fleabane. 
From the Greek for spring and old man, because some species 
become old early in the season, which is not the fact with any of 
our species. About 50 species are spread over Europe and 
North and South America ; 7 are common in this State ; all 
weeds. As some species have a strong aromatic scent, which is 
always offensive to insects, and avoided by most of them, we see 
the origin of the English name. 

E. bellidifolium. W. Plantain-leafed Fleabane. Stem 2-3 
feet high, with purplish blue flowers ; though named daisy-leafed, 
it has little beauty of foliage compared with that plant. 

E. Canadense. L. An unsightly plant, 2-4 feet high, with 
small flowers, growing over the fields, with a strong, aromatic, 
offensive odor ; astringent, and used sometimes by farriers to stop 
the flowing of blood from wounded horses ; spreads rapidly on 
every side ; August. 

E. integrtfolium. Big. Grows beside roads and woods, 2 


feet high, slightly pubescent ; leaves lanceolate, nerved, entire, 
slightly clasping ; June to August. 

The other four species, heterophyllum, L., Philadelphicum, L., 
purpureum, L., and strigosum, L., have little interest. 

Senecio. L. 17. 2. 

So called, like the last, for the early maturity of some of the 
species. Mostly mere weeds ; about 140 species spread over 
Europe and the adjoining countries, and the Cape of Good Hope ; 
about 14 species in this country, only 5 in this State, and 2 of 
them rather rare. 

&. aureus, W., and S. obovatus, W. Ragwort. Grow in wet 
places, 2-3 feet high, with yellow blossoms, rather showy. 
The decoction of these is sometimes successfully used for the 
cure of the salt-rheum, by washing the eruption with it. 

S. vulgaris. L. Groundsel. Introduced from Europe ; 
emollient and resolvent, and used in Europe as a remedy for 
spitting of blood. Loudon. 

S. hieracifollus. L. Fire weed. The well-known plant that 
springs up where a clearing is made in the forest by burning up 
logs and brush ; a large plant, with unsightly flowers, and large 
succulent leaves. In travelling the Great Canal, in the State of 
New York, you pass large neglected fields of half-cleared lands, 
which are overrun by this weed. Cultivation eradicates it with 
the greatest ease, although it appears to yield a multitude of seeds. 
The plant has a nauseous odor. 

S. balsamitaz. W. A small plant with radical leaves, oblong, 
serrate, petiolate, and the stem leaves lyrate or pinnatifid ; June, 
in dry pastures ; Stoneham. Big. 

Helenium. L. 17. 2. 
An American genus of few species ; named from a species of 
Inula, Elecampane, whose cosmetic properties the famous Helen 
is fabled to have used. 


H. autumnale. L. Sneezewort. False Sun Flower. Stem 
2 feet high, branched, finely winged by the sessile leaves which 
run down the stem ; bright-yellow flowers nearly in a level co- 
rymb ; bitter ; fields ; August. 

Dahlia. L. 17. 2. 
Named after a pupil of Linnseus, A. Dahl ; a genus from Mexi- 
co, of 3 species ; grows in sandy meadows ; is the most popular, 
perhaps, of all the autumnal flowers. 

D. superflua. L. Cultivated in the greatest perfection by 
cuttings of the roots ; leaves and stem rather coarse, but the 
flowers are large, single and double, and of a great variety of color, 
endure long also ; the roots require to be preserved from the frost 
in a dry place, and early divided and planted ; grows in loamy 

Aster. L. 17. 2. Star Flower. 
Both the names derived from the radiating, or star-like appear- 
ance of the compound corollas. A great many species, about 
100, belong to the genus ; some are doubtless only varieties ; a 
great proportion of them belong to North America and the Cape 
of Good Hope, a few only to Europe ; 52 are credited by Beck 
to the Northern and Middle States ; 20 are described by Bigelow 
as in the vicinity of Boston ; and 31 are credited to this State in 
the " Geology of Massachusetts." They grow in all situations, 
along fences and hedges, in woods, on dry and wet soils, in valleys 
and on mountains. They are a great addition to the beauty of 
autumnal vegetation, as they grow in great profusion, have a fine 
green foliage, and bear a multitude of flowers, even to the coming 
of frosts that destroy all vegetation. They appear to delight in 
the cooler summers, and not to be hastened to maturity in the 
hotter summers. Useful properties, as food, medicine, or for 
manufacture, have been discovered in very few of them. 

A. cyaneus. HofT, Blue Aster. A beautiful species ; stem 
2 feet high, erect and smooth ; upper part branching, and bearing 
separate, blue or purplish flowers ; leaves long, sessile, clasping, 


rather narrower towards the base. Edges of fields and woods ; 

A. puniceas. L. Purple Aster. Stem often reddish, not 
straight, and rather angular, 2-3 feet high, with long leaves taper- 
ing to both ends, and slightly clasping, bearing its large and beau- 
tiful blue flowers on the ends and sides of the branches, hairy and 
rough. Fields and woods in rather wet soils ; September. A 
fine species. 

A. prenanthoidcs. W. Much like the last ; flowers about 
equal, but whitish-blue ; leaves shaped like a spatula, or wider in 
the middle, and tapering to both ends, but more towards the stem, 
clasping ; less rough than the preceding, but in like situations ; 

A. acuminatus. Mx. Sharp-leaved Aster. Stem a foot or 
more high, simple, erect, flexuous, angular, with broad leaves 
tapering long towards the base, towards the upper side toothed, 
and fully acuminate at the end ; flowers in a panicle, rather 
spreading, middle-sized, white in the rays ; on mountains ; Au- 
gust to October. Very different from the preceding. 

A. linarifolius. W. Flax-leafed Aster. Stem about a foot 
high, stiff, roughish, decumbent, covered with long, stiff, narrow 
leaves, that give the plant a flax-like appearance at a little distance, 
and bearing a few single, purplish flowers, on short foot-stalks ; 
open woods, on hills and high plains in light soils ; blossoms in 
September and October. It is altogether a curious-looking plant ; 
flowers with white rays of a middle size. 

A. diffusus. Ait. Branched Star Flower. A very branch- 
ing and spreading plant, 1-2 feet high, unsightly, bearing a multi- 
tude of small white flowers ; September ; in woods and by road- 
sides, on hills. 

A. conyzoides. W. Resembles some species of Conyza ; 


1-2 feet high, branching considerably, more leafy below ; flowers 
smallish, white, with the scales of the calyx yellowish, and finely 
green on their tips, giving a variegated appearance to the flower ; 
in clearings and by fences ; July. 

A. cordifolius. L. Heart-shape-leafed Star Flower. Stem 
often 2 feet or more high, erect, branching, rather smooth, with 
deeply heart-shaped leaves, acutely toothed, and on rather long- 
winged leaf-stalks, especially on the lower part of the plant, and 
bearing numerous whitish-purple flowers ; open woods, in light, 
dry soils ; September. A fine species. 

A. corymbosus. Ait. Closely allied to the preceding, and 
equally handsome, with heart-form leaves below, and ovate above, 
and many whitish-blue flowers in corymbs ; woods ; July. 

A. meter ophyllus. Ait., and A. paniculatus, Ait. Nearly re- 
lated to the two preceding, but clearly different ; grow in similar 
situations, and flower in September and October. 

A. Tradcscanti. W. Stem 4-6 feet high, erect, smooth, 
with long, narrow leaves, tapering to the base and sessile, branch- 
ing at the summit, and full of purplish-white flowers. Grows 
beside fences in wet situations, and is an elegant species with 
middle-sized flowers ; September. 

A. recurvatus. W. Seems to be only a variety of this, form- 
ing a tall, bending, or arched stem, with wider leaves ; in similar 

A. Novce-Anglice. L. New England Aster. The most 
beautiful of our species ; erect, 2-5 feet high, branching, leafy ; 
leaves lanceolate, sessile, and slightly lobed or auriculate at the 
base ; flowers numerous, terminal, nearly level-top-corymbed, 
deep purple, larger than the common size ; fields, in moist or dry 
soils, and beside fences ; August to October ; the plant has a 
fine aromatic odor. 

Used by Dr. O. Partridge of Stockbridge, with gratifying sue- 


cess, in the cure of the salt-rheum. It was prescribed originally 
by an Indian, and called by the people, bee-flower, because it is 
in September so sought for by the honey-bee. It is easily culti- 
vated in gardens, and has great beauty. 

A. phlogifolius. L. A fine species, 2 feet high, with some- 
what glaucous leaves, and red or flame-colored petals, whence its 
name ; woods ; August to November. 

A. diver sifolius. Mx. Resembles the preceding species, but 
is distinct from it ; in similar situations. 

A. amplexicaulis. Mx. Differs a little from the two preceding. 

A. subulatus. Mx. A smooth plant; stem 2-3 feet high, 
with spreading branches, and small purplish flowers ; leaves linear- 
subulate, acute ; salt marshes ; August to November ; Marsh- 
field and Boston. 

A. spectabilis. Ait. Named for its beauty, though it is inferior 
to several ; stem 2 feet high, bearing large blue flowers in a co- 
rymb ; leaves oblong-lanceolate, clasping, and roughish ; swamps ; 
August and September. In the vicinity of New Bedford. 

A. multijlorus. W. Stem 2-3 feet high, diffusely branched, 
pubescent, with crowded flowers in terminal racemes ; branches 
horizontal ; leaves linear, entire, smoothish ; fields ; August. 

A. miser. L. Nearly allied to the last, but is a poorer look- 
ing plant, as if neglected ; small flowers. The variety, A. diver- 
gens, is a very common, but ill-looking plant. 

Several other species, A. amygdalinus y Mx., cornifolius, Muhl., 
dumosus, L., ericoides, W., Icevis, Willd., mutaUlis, W., Novi- 
Belgii, L., rigidus, W., salicifoUus, W., solidagineus, Mx., um- 
bellalus, Ait., and doubtless others, are of equal consequence with 
many already mentioned. 

A. Chinensis. L. The China Aster of gardens. Remarka- 


ble for its large and double flowers of many colors ; by cultivation 
greatly improved in the last fifteen years. 

Several of our native species, are now found a valuable addition 
in gardens ; their flowers will probably increase in size and 

In England, more than 100 species are native or cultivated ; 
and 75 species from North America have been introduced and 
propagated, in the zeal of the florists and botanists to be familiar 
with living plauts. The native plants pass in England under 
the name of Christmas daisies^ on account of the lateness of their 
blossoms, and are not esteemed very ornamental. Loudon. 

Solidago. L. 17. 2. Golden Rod. 

From its healing power over wounds, its name is taken from a 
Latin word, to unite. The genus has about 50 species, nearly 
four fifths of which belong to North America. All have yellow 
flowers except one, but are of very little beauty. They give 
variety to autumnal vegetation, but are coarse plants, and do not 
well bear inspection in detail. Twenty species are ascribed to 
this State. A part bear erect flowers, and another part have 
their flowers in one-sided panicles. Forty-three species from 
North America are cultivated in England. 

S. odora. Ait. Sweet-scented Golden Rod. Stem 2-3 
feet high, pubescent above, with long and narrow leaves, sessile ; 
flowers numerous on many branches. An aromatic oil gives to 
the plant a pleasant odor ; this is sometimes distilled from it. I 
have not noticed this species in the western part of this State. 
Medicinal ; Bigelow's "Medical Botany." 

S. altissima. L. A tall, large, erect, stiff, hairy plant, cover- 
ed with long, sessile leaves, and with a large, branching top of 
one-sided yellow flowers ; August ; hedges and fields. 

S. Canadensis. L. Has a downy stem and lanceolate leaves, 
broader than the last, and rough, with a large, branched top of 
one-sided flowers ; stem 2-5 feet high ; August. 


S. ulmifolia. W. Has large, elm-like, toothed leaves, ellip- 
tic, acuminate ; flowers in a long terminal panicle, recurved ; 
woods on hills ; August. 

S. lanceolata. Ait. Rises to near a level top of flowers in a 
corymb, branched, 2 feet high, with long narrow leaves, sessile, 
and grasslike at a little distance ; fields ; August. 

8m bicolor. L. Has white flowers in the ray, and yellowish 
in the disk ; stem hairy, 2-3 feet high, with hairy and oval 
leaves ; racemes of flowers erect ; whitish pubescence on the 
leaves ; fields and woods ; August to September. The flowers 
not a bright white. 

S. ciliaris. W. The common Golden Rod of the fields. 

S. tenuifolia. Ph. Closely related to the last. 

8. speciosa. Nutt. Has larger rays and is the most beautiful. 
The other species that have been noticed, laevigata, Ait., cwsia, W., 
gigantea. Ait., nemoralis. Ait., arguta, W., aspera y Ait., latifolia, 
Muhl., lividcij W., rigida, Ait., serotina, W., squarrosa, Nutt., 
and stricta, W., have various degrees of beauty. The coesia is 
very beautiful. 

Bidens. L. 17. 3. 

Named from the two projecting teeth of the seed ; embraces 
about 20 species, nearly all natives of America. They are un- 
sightly and useless weeds. 5 species are found in this State, of 
which 3 are pretty common. 

B. frondosa. L. Common Beggar Ticks or Cuckold, or, 
more elegantly, Burr Marygold. Grows 3-5 feet high, about 
gardens and yards, and infests cultivated fields. As the seeds 
have 2 barbed awns, they fasten themselves to the clothes, or 
to the covering of animals, and are widely scattered. Only care- 
ful cultivation will eradicate this troublesome weed ; no beauty, 
and no obvious use ; August. 


B. cernua. L. Common Beggar Ticks. About ponds 
and ditches ; stem a foot or two high, with small, erect, yellow 
flowers ; August. A native of Britain. 

B. connata. W. Has the lateral leaves connate ; stem 2 
feet high ; in fields ; July. 

B. chrysanthemoides. Mx. Grows in wet places ; seeds com- 
monly with 4 awns ; August. 

B. tripartita. L. Much resembles B. frondosa ; grows in 
wet places ; leaves opposite, mostly 3-parted, the lower often 
pinnatifid ; August. 

Twelve species have been introduced from America into Eng- 
land, and cultivated there. 

Helianthus. L. 17. 3. Sunflower. 

Named from the Greek for sun and flower, on the popular no- 
tion, that the flowers of the great Sunflower turn towards the sun, 
and partially follow it, for which there may be some little founda- 
tion ; but especially from the size and appearance of that large 
and fine flower, the ray florets round the broad disk being an apt 
resemblance of the radiating appearance of the border of the sun, 
as the broad and glowing face of the " powerful king of day" 
comes " rejoicing in the east." This genus belongs almost ex- 
clusively to North and South America, and contains about 30 
species, of which 12 are natives of the Middle and Northern 
States, and 5 are found in this State, 3 only being indigenous. 
They add considerably to the beauty of the woods and hedges in 
the autumn, though their fine yellow-rayed flowers are not very 

More than 20 species, introduced from America, have been 
raised in England. 

H. trachelifolius. W. Wild Sunflower. This is the common 
sunflower of the woods and hedges ; stem 3-4 feet high, branch- 
ing towards the summit, roughish ; leaves ovate-lanceolate, ser- 
rate, 3-nerved, tapering into a short petiole ; August to October. 


H. decapetalus. L. Closely related to the preceding, and 
united to it by some botanists, but its characters seem to make it 

H. altissimus. L. Tall Sunflower. This is a lofty plant of 
the hills, with a smooth purple stem ; leaves petiolate and broad- 
lanceolate, tapering upwards ; chaff of the seed greenish ; woods ; 
July to September. 

H. divaricatus. L. Spreading Sunflower. Stem 3-5 feet 
high, 2 or 3-dichotomously divided, with leaves on long petioles, 
rounded at the base ; rather showy, with a spicy odor ; woods ; 
in August and September ; vicinity of Boston. 

H. tuberosus. L. Jerusalem Artichoke. The tuberous root 
resembles the real artichoke, and the plant, by a corruption of its 
Italian name, girasole, was called Jerusalem Artichoke. The 
plant was introduced into Europe from Brazil, and cultivated for 
its roots before the potato was known ; hence the value attached 
to this artichoke, forty years and more ago, by many who had 
emigrated to this country. At the present time, the roots are 
little used. The plant has become partially naturalized. 

H. annuus. L. The Sunflower of the gardens. A coarse 
plant, large and tall, and bearing a huge disk of flowers from an 
inch to a foot in diameter. Within a few years the tubular florets 
of the disk have become ligulate, or strap-shaped, like those of 
the ray, and the whole flower is far more splendid and sun-like, 
and more of the flowers are turned towards the sun than away from 
it. The disk of the flowers, and the leaves also, contain an odo- 
rous substance, adhesive to the touch, like a resin. The seed is 
large and abundant, and sometimes raised for the feeding of poul- 
try. It also contains a valuable oil, easily expressed from it, 
and a good substitute for sweet oil. The plant is a native of 
South America, whence it was introduced into England, and 
thence into the United States. 


Rudbeckia. L. 17. 3. Cone Flower. 
Named after O. Rudbeck, professor of botany at Upsal, in 
Sweden. It is a North American genus of about 15 species, of 
which 12 have been introduced into England. Only 1 species 
appears in this State. 

R. laciniata. L. Often called Thimble Flower, from the 
length and size of the cone-part of the flower ; stem 4-6 feet 
high, branching, smooth ; leaves rough, lower ones pinnate or 
pinnatifid, of about 5 segments, and the upper nearly sessile, 
ovate ; flowers large, with long and broad yellow ray-florets ; 
woods and hedges ; August. This is a handsome plant, and is 
introduced into some yards and gardens. 

Coreopsis. L. 17. 3. 
From the Greek for bug and resemblance , as the seed, by its flat- 
tish convex surface, rounded at one end, and with two little horns at 
the other, much resembles some insect. It is almost wholly an 
American genus, of about 30 species, 19 of which have been in- 
troduced into England ; only 2 are found native in this State. 
The species are rather beautiful, and of some species the flower- 
ing continues for a long time. The species belong chiefly to the 
southern part of North America. 

C. trichosperma. Mx. Tickseed Sunflower. Bears large, 
yellow flowers ; stem about 2 feet high, with wing-shaped, gla- 
brous, and opposite leaves ; swamps ; August and September. 

C. rosea. Nutt. A new species found abundantly about the 
ponds in Plymouth. 

Two or three species of Coreopsis are now cultivated in the 
more extensive flow T er-gardens, which have been introduced from 
the South. 

Centaurea. L. 17. 3. 

The Centaur is said to have cured the wound, inflicted on his 
foot by Hercules, with a plant of this genus, and hence the name. 


It embraces nearly 140 species, most of which are natives of 
Europe, and the countries adjacent on the south and southeast ; 
77 have been cultivated in England or found native. 

C. nigra. L. Black Knapweed. A coarse and trouble- 
some weed in the pastures and meadows of England, and intro- 
duced and naturalized in a few places ; Medford and Charlestown ; 
July and August. Stem 2 feet high, branching and angular, with 
lyrate leaves below, entire leaves above, having purple solitary 

C. cyaneus. L. Blue Bottle. A common ornamental flower 
in gardens, with funnel-form ray-flowers, blue, and whitish-blue ; 
a common weed over Europe, and also used as a border-plant. 
Loudon. Partially naturalized. 

C. benedicta. L. Blessed Thistle. Named for its supposed 
medicinal properties. It is common in gardens for ornament. 
A native of Spain. 

Iva. L. 17. 4. 

A North American genus of 5 species, found chiefly at the 
South ; said to be named because the odor resembles that of the 
ancient Iva. Loudon. 

I. frutescens. L. Marsh Elder. Highwater Shrub. Grows 
about salt marshes, fleshy, and rather shrubby, with nearly axillary 
branches ; leaves roughish, serrate, ovate-lanceolate, 3-nerved ; 
flowers small, green, drooping, in racemes. 

Calendula. L. 17. 4. Marygold. 

Named from the Latin for the beginning of a month, because it 
blossoms every month ; about 30 species, belonging to Europe and 
the adjacent countries, and the Cape of Good Hope. 

C. officinalis. L. Pot Marygold. A native of the South of 
Europe, and cultivated from time immemorial ; used formerlv in 
soups to give color and flavor, and for its supposed many \ ir- 


tues, medicinal and soothing, all which, except the unpleasant 
odor and orange color, have disappeared in modern times. It is 
raised for its beauty, bearing single and double flowers, continuing 
to blossom for a long time, and having many varieties. It is less 
a favorite, perhaps, than formerly, but is highly worthy of a con- 
spicuous place in every flower-garden. It is cultivated with great 
ease ; and its seeds, found only round the outside of the flower, 
are curiously heel-shaped, almost a semicircle when ripe. 

Ambrosia. L. 19. 5. 

The pleasant odor of the bruised leaves of some of the spe- 
cies led to the application of the name of the food of the heathen 
gods to this genus, some species of which are called in English by 
very different names. It is almost wholly a North American 
genus, of S or 10 species, only 3 of which are natives of this 
State. Most of the species are mere weeds. 

A. elatior. W. Rag Weed. Wild Wormwood. Stem 
2-4 feet high, with wand-like branches, and leaves bipinnatifid, 
smooth ; flowers in paniculate racemes ; the staminate flowers 
in long racemes looking like seeds, and supposed to be seeds 
by those who partially examine ; fertile flowers below in little 
aggregations : bearing a small nut ; in waste places and over 
fields. The bruised leaves were formerly in popular use as an 
application to wounds and bruises. Plant very bitter, resembling 
common Wormwood. Flowers insignificant, and the plant a 

A. trifida. W. Under the same common names as the last, 
which it much resembles, though it is a much larger plant, hence 
often called Giant Ambrosia, with 3-lobed, serrate leaves ; a mere 
weed ; in fields. 

A. heterophylla. Muhl. Grows on banks of streams, and less 
common than the others, with cauline, pinnatifid leaves, and lan- 
ceolate, sessile leaves ; long ciliate hairs on the petioles ; flowers 
in July. 


Xanthium. L. 19. 5. 
From the Greek for yellow, as the plant was anciently said to color 
the hair yellow ; a genus mostly European, of only 4 species, one 
of which has strayed to this country. 

X strumarium. L. Sea Burdock. Clott Burr. Stem 
erect, 3-6 feet high, purple, spotted, bristly, rough ; leaves large, 
cordate, serrate, hard and rough, 3-nerved ; fruit in an oval burr, 
armed with stiff spines or hooked thorns ; flowers axillary, in- 
significant ; grows on beaches near salt water, and widely over 
the country in light soils ; flowers in August. Another species, 
H. spinosum, has been found by Dr. Porter at Plainfield. 

ORDER 189. STELLATE. The Madder Tribe. 

Calyx divided into 4, 5, or 6 lobes, superior ; Contains the 
1-petalled corolla, rotate or tubular, with divisions the same in num- 
ber as the calyx, and having as many stamens as the divisions of 
the corolla ; ovary inferior, 2-celled ; fruit a dry pericarp ; leaves 
in a whorl, of a stellate appearance, giving name to the order, 
without stipules ; stems square, roots giving a red dye, and flowers 
minute. The genus Rubia belongs to this order, and formerly 
gave name to a much larger family under the name of Rubiaceae. 

Rubia. L. 4. 1. 
R. tincloria. L. Madder. From the Latin for red, on ac- 
count of the coloring matter of the roots ; a native of Southern 
Europe, and cultivated to great extent as a dyestufT; little culti- 
vated in this country. When eaten by animals, it tinges even the 
bones red, and the hardest part first. It has a trailing or climbing 
stem. Loudon. Cultivated in a few cases. 

Galium. L. 4. 1. Bedstraw. Cleavers. 

From the Greek for milk, as one species was used to curdle 
it. Near 80 species have been described, which are widely spread 
over the world, though most are indigenous to Europe; 11 spe- 
cies belong to this State. They are mostly inconspicuous plants, 


slender, some very rough, and some very smooth ; fruit of some 
smooth, of others very hispid. The plants seem of little use, 
except that the roots of some are employed by the aborigines to 
dye red. 

G. tinctorium, L., and G. boreale, L., are both used as yield- 
ing from their roots a beautiful red. 

G. asprellum. L. A very rough Bedstraw. 

G. circcBzans. Mx. Liquorice. So called from its taste 
resembling that of the true liquorice. 

G. trifidum. L. Small Bedstraw. A small, scabrous plant. 

G. aparine. L. From the Greek, to lay hold, because its 
fruit is covered with hooked bristles, by which it adheres to man 
and beast, for which the Greeks called it man-lover, and the Eng- 
lish call it cleavers ; and some call it goose-grass, because geese 
feed on it ; formerly used in Sweden as a strainer for milk ; puri- 
fying to the blood, antiscorbutic ; roots dye red ; tinges the bones 
of birds that eat it ; sometimes a troublesome weed ; prickles of 
stem stand backwards, and leaves are 6 or 8 in a whorl, linear- 
lanceolate, mucronate. 

G. obtusum. Big. Obtuse-leafed, having a slender, much 
branched, and diffuse stem, smooth ; leaves 4 in a whorl, linear- 
lanceolate, very obtuse ; fruit globular, smooth ; banks of Muddy 
Brook in Roxbury ; July. Big. 

G. verum. L. Yellow Bedstraw. Conspicuous for its yel- 
low flowers ; stem erect, slender, pubescent ; vicinity of Boston ; 
probably not indigenous here as it is in Europe. 

G. lanceolatum. Tor. Popularly called liquorice, from the 
sweet taste of its stem and leaves. Stem erect ; leaves lanceo- 
late, long, acuminate, and narrow ; flowers few, and fruit hispid. 


G. triflorum. Mx. Three-flowered ; has largish leaves, small 
flowers, smoothish and procumbent stem ; fruit in a 3-rayed um- 
bel ; woods ; July. 

G. pilosum. Ait. Hairy Cleavers. Has purple flowers, and 
a rough stem, one foot high ; leaves 4, in a whorl, very hairy 
throughout, and fruit hairy ; woods ; July. 

ORDER 195. ASCLEPIADEiE. The Milkweed Tribe. 

Persistent calyx of 5 segments ; monopetalous corolla, 5-lobed ; 
inferior, regular ; stamens 5, inserted in the base of the corolla, 
with 2-celled anthers ; follicles 2, or 1 by abortion ; plants com- 
monly milky ; flowers umbelled, fascicled, racemed. The prop- 
erties are generally acrid and stimulating, sometimes emetic ; the 
milky juice commonly bitter, and suspicious. The Cow-plant of 
India, the milk of which is used as food by the natives, belongs 
to this order. Only one genus of this order is found in this State. 

Asclepias. L. 5. 2. Swallow-wort. Silkweed. 

Named in honor of some JEsculapius, the name of many dis- 
tinguished physicians. About 50 species of this genus are known, 
one half of which belong to North America ; 1 are credited to 
Massachusetts. The plants are not of great consequence. 

A. Syriaca. L. Common Silk Weed. Grows about woods 
and fields, 2-4 feet high, with large oblong leaves, bearing its 
seed attached to a long silky pappus or seed-down. The young 
plant is eaten like asparagus ; a beautiful cape, made by sewing 
the silky down upon cloth, was presented at the Berkshire Cattle- 
show and Fair, and greatly admired. 

A. incarnata. L. Distinguished for its umbels of beautiful 
purple flowers ; in low grounds. 

A. quadrifolia. L. Has four leaves in opposite pairs, and is 
a delicate plant. 



A. tuberosa. L. Pleurisy Root. Butterfly Weed. A hairy 
plant, with opposite and scattered leaves ; stem 1-2 feet high, 
bearing bright orange-colored flowers in the axils, and at the ter- 
mination ; has valuable medicinal properties ; light sandy soil, 
easily cultivated, and much improved by cultivation, which, from 
its great beauty, it richly deserves. It rises to the height of 4-6 
feet, and its umbels of flowers increase in number and improve in 
size and color. June. Bigelow's "Medical Botany." 

A. viridiflorci) Ph., A. verticillata, L., and A. variegata^ L., 
are rare plants, as well as A. purpurascens, L. A. pulchra, 
found in the eastern parts of the State, is so named for its beauty. 

A. phytolaccoides. Ph. Grows in wet grounds, and has large 
leaves like the plant it is named after ; 3-4 feet high; few- 

A. obtusifolia. Mx. Its name describes its leaves, oblong and 
obtuse, sessile and clasping ; stem 2 or 3 feet high, erect and 
smooth ; flowers large and purple ; sandy fields ; June. This, as 
well as other species, would repay the trouble of cultivation. 


Persistent calyx, with 5 divisions ; corolla 1-petalled, regular, 
5-lobed, inferior, supporting on its base the 5 stamens ; fruit a 
follicle, capsule, berry, or drupe ; white, milky juice in many 
species ; leaves opposite or whorled. Only one genus in this 
State, though the order contains many genera, and important 

Apocynum. L. 5. 1. Dog's Bane. 

From the Greek away and dog, from its supposed ofTensiveness 
to that animal. The species are rather handsome plants. 

A. androswmi folium. L. Common Dog's Bane. Stem 
3-5 feet high, smooth, much branched, with upper leaves op- 
posite, smooth on both sides, and green on the upper ; white 


flowers in nodding clusters in the axils of the upper leaves, and 
ends of branches ; seed in 2 long narrow follicles ; strong medici- 
nal properties; Bigelow's "Medical Botany." About woods 
and hedges and banks of streams. 

«#. cannabinum. L. Indian Hemp. Named from the hemp- 
like fibres of the bark, which the Indians twist into strings. 

Stem smooth and branching, with narrower leaves than the 
other, which are downy on the under side, and paler than above ; 
flowers in terminal clusters ; borders of woods, and fields, arid 
meadows ; June. 

A. hypericifolium. Ait. John's Dog's Bane. Stem about 
2 feet high, with oblong, narrow leaves, and small greenish-white 
flowers ; borders of woods. 

The first two would be ornamental flowering plants for gardens ; 
rather herbaceous than shrubby. 

V inc a minor. L. Periwinkle. Is a beautiful evergreen creep- 
ing plant, shrubby, bearing fine blue flowers for a long time, a 
native of Britain, and cultivated for its early flowers and carpet- 
like green, forming a beautiful covering for the sloping banks of 

ORDER 197. GENTIANEiE. The Gentian Tribe. 

Stamens mostly 5, attached to the corolla, and equal to the 
divisions of the corolla, or of the persistent inferior calyx ; ovary 
single ; capsule or berry many-seeded ; leaves opposite, and 
commonly sessile, entire ; flowers axillary or terminal. 

Gentiana. L. 5. 2. Gentian. 

After the King of Illyria, Gentius, who is said to have dis- 
covered the medicinal properties of some of the species. Most 
of the plants are handsome. 

G. saponaria. L. Soap Gentian. The leaves resemble 
some lands of Saponaria, or Soapwort. Stem about 2 feet high, 


erect, with clusters of purple or white flowers towards the sum- 
mit, and smooth, nerved leaves ; plant of a light-green ; on low 
grounds ; September. Cultivated by the Shakers, at Hancock, for 
its medicinal properties. 

This would be a fine plant for fall flowers in gardens. 

6r. pneumonanthe. L. Marsh Gentian. A smaller plant than 
the preceding, but much like it ; axillary flowers solitary ; swamps 
in the vicinity of Boston. 

G. crinita. L. Fringed Gentian. Flowers delicate and 
beautiful, bluish, with the border cut into numerous segments like 
fringe, and growing on branches towards the top ; stem about a 
foot high ; wet places and damp soils ; September. 

G. quinqueflora. L. Gentian. Another beautiful plant, 
about a foot high, with clusters of bluish flowers in the axils of 
the leaves ; abundant on hilly grounds in the western part of the 
State ; September and October. 

The last two species would be great additions to the flowering 
plants of gardens, as they blossom in autumn, and bear abundance 
of flowers for a considerable time. 

More than 60 species of this genus have been described ; more 
than 20 are cultivated in England ; 10 species are found in North 
America ; a wide-spread genus. 

Villarsia. Gmelin. 5. 1. 

V. lacunosa. Vent. Floating Heart. Spur Stem. Named 
after a French botanist, Villars ; a genus of aquatic plants, natives 
of both continents. 

This species has very splendid petioles, bearing heart-shaped, 
floating leaves ; flowers small and white on the leaf-stalks ; vicinity 
of Boston. Big. 

Menyanthes. L. 5. 1. 

M. trifoliata. L. Buck Bean. Bears flower-stalks and 
leaves at short distances along a horizontal root ; flowers white in 
a conical cluster ; leaves finely ternate ; medicinal. Bigelow's 


" Medical Botany." In marshy meadows, and on banks of streams 
and ponds ; May. 

The leaves are bitter and used for rheumatism ; in Sweden, the 
plant is a substitute for hops. Only one species in the genus, a 
native of Europe and America. 

Sabbatia. Adanson. 5. 1. 
Named after L. Sabbati, a botanist of Italy of some distinction ; 
a North American genus of about 10 species, of which 4 have 
been introduced into England ; 2 are found in this State. 

S. chloroides. Ph., and 8. stellaris. Ph. Both found in the 
eastern part of the State, but are not of much importance except 
for their beauty ; the former being one of our most beautiful wild 
flowers. They have been found very difficult to cultivate. 

Houstonia. L. 4. 1. 

Named after Dr. William Houston ; a genus confined to the 
United States, except one fine species in Mexico. Of the 8 
known species, 2 belong to Massachusetts. 

H. ccerulea. L. Venus' Pride. The small delicate plant with 
fine bluish flowers, which spreads among the grass in meadows 
and low grounds in great abundance. On the alluvial meadows of 
the Housatonic River, are acres in succession of this flower ; 
blossoms in May. 

H. longifolia. Willd. Long-leafed. A taller, larger plant, 
with purplish flowers ; hills and mountains ; June. Stem 6-12 
inches high, branched, leaves an inch long. 

ORDER 198. SPIGELIACEiE. Wormseed Tribe. 

Removed from the preceding order by Dr. Martius, and con- 
tinued by others ; embraces American plants, chiefly of South 


Spigelia. L. 5. 1. 

S. Marylandica. L. Pink Root. The genus was named 
after Professor A. Spigelius, of Padua. This species has been 
cultivated by the Shakers. It is the well-known vermifuge, under 
the name of Carolina Pink ; a handsome plant, with opposite, 
sessile leaves, and a terminal cluster of crimson flowers. For 
its medicinal properties, consult Bigelow's " Medical Botany." 
A native of the Southern States. 

Another species, a native of the West Indies, has the same 
vermifuge character in a higher degree, and both, like opium, pro- 
duce sleep, and sometimes dangerous symptoms. 

ORDER 199. CONVOLVULACE^. The Bindweed 


Two floral envelopes, both 5-lobed, inferior, with 5 stamens in- 
serted into the base of the corolla ; stems often twining, smooth, 
and milky ; rarely leafless ; ovary simple, few-seeded. 

Convolvulus. L. 5. 1. Bindweed. 

From the Latin, to entwine ; contains 150 species, chiefly 
natives of India and the tropical parts of America ; some are 
mere weeds, some are quite beautiful, and some very useful. 

C. septum. L. Wild Morning Glory. Named specifically 
from its frequenting hedges and thickets ; often called Great 
Bindweed ; a beautiful twining plant ; grows on low grounds, 
running over shrubs, and bearing large, whitish, and reddish blos- 
soms, in June. 

C. stans. Mx. Dwarf Morning Glory. About a foot high, 
erect, bearing one or two whitish flowers ; sandy woods ; July. 
Sometimes cultivated. 

C. purpureus. L. Common Morning Glory. A beautiful 
twining plant, with fine, large, purple flowers ; grows often 20 feet 
high ; cultivated about houses for ornament ; partially naturalized, 
but introduced from the warmer parts of North America. 


C. arvcnsis. L. Field Bindweed. A troublesome vine, 
twining round plants in gardens and fields, with insignificant flow- 
ers ; June. 

C. batatas. L. Sweet Potato. Sometimes cultivated in this 
State ; a southern plant of great value for its roots, which are a 
well-known luxury. A native of India and tropical America. 
It is the potato of Shakspeare, and those who mentioned this root 
before the common potato was cultivated in Europe. Loudon. 

Scammony, a well-known stimulant and cathartic, is obtained 
from the roots of one species of this genus ; so diverse are the 
properties of the various species. 

Cuscuta. L. 5. 2. 

C. Americana. L. Dodder. A singular plant, being a leaf- 
less vine of a deep-yellow color, springing from a seed in the 
ground, soon twining round any plant it meets with, and attaching 
itself closely by teethlike projections, which pierce into the plant ; 
thus it draws nourishment, and obtains a support, and soon dies at 
the root ; it then sends out a shoot to fasten and twine in the same 
manner, and in all cases it twines from right to left. Where it 
is attached to other plants, it enlarges, and bears clusters of small 
white flowers ; on banks of streams, and in shady wet places ; 
June. This is the only species indigenous to North America. 
Deriving its support and nutriment from other plants, it is 
beautifully called a parasite, and is one of many parasitic plants. 

C. Europaza. L. European Dodder. Described by Beck 
as parasitic on flax near Albany ; and occasionally to be met with 
in this State ; a native of Britain. 

ORDER 200. POLEMONIACE.E. The Greek Vale- 
rian Triee. 

Both floral envelopes inferior, with 5 divisions ; corolla bearing 
the 5 stamens inserted in the middle of it, and alternating with the 
segments ; ovary superior, 2-celled ; style simple, with a trifid 
stigma ; capsule 1 -celled, 3-valved ; leaves simple or compound, 
alternate or opposite. 


The plants of this order abound in America out of the torrid 
zone ; not possessed of useful properties ; some have beautiful 
foliage and flowers. 


Named from the Greek, for war, because an ancient plant of 
great excellence was the cause of war between two kings, but 
now unknown, while the name is given to other well-known plants. 

P. reptans. L. Greek Valerian. A handsome plant, culti- 
vated for its beauty ; leaves pinnate, in about 7 pairs of wings ; 
flowers nodding ; a native of North America. 

Phlox. L. 5. 1. Lychnidea. 

From the Greek, for flame, from the redness of the flowers, 
to which the name was originally applied. About 20 species have 
been described, all but one or two natives of North America, but 
none indigenous to New England. Very ornamental plants ; 
several species are found in many gardens, and 17 have been in- 
troduced into England. 

While the corolla is a slender tube with a spreading border, it 
is always more or less curved. 

P. paniculata. L. Bears a corymb of panicled, purple, or 
reddish flowers, with a short calyx, and a stem 2-3 feet high ; 
the first known in our gardens. Var. alba, has fine white flowers. 

P. pyramidalis. L. Has its panicle of bluish-purple flowers 
in a pyramidal form. 

P. maculata. L. Has a roughish, spotted stem, and pale- 
purple flowers. One variety, raised from seed, has white flowers. 

ORDER 207. PRIMULACE.E. The Primrose Tribe. 

Both floral envelopes divided into 5 divisions, rarely 4, inferior ; 
stamens equal in number, and opposite to the sections of the 


corolla, and standing upon it ; ovary inferior, and capsule opening 
by valves ; leaves commonly opposite, whorled or scattered. 

Grow in the northern parts of both continents ; beautiful plants, 
often cultivated. 

Primula. L. 5. 1. 

Flower very early in the spring, which fact gives rise to the 
name, Prime-rose, as if first of all the flowers ; small Alpine plants 
cultivated for their early blossoms. 

P. veris. L. Cows-lip Primrose. Named the Primrose of 
Spring, a common border plant, with fine reddish yellow flowers ; 
native of Britain. 

P. auricula. L. From the Alpine parts of Italy and Switz- 
erland ; flowers yellow and red, but by cultivation there is great 
variety in the flowers and leaves. 

The English have nearly 20 species cultivated or indigenous. 


From the Greek, twelve divinities, and most absurdly applied 
to any plant, especially to an American genus. Loudon. Two 
species described ; one has often been cultivated within a few 
years, introduced from the Southern States, and named in honor 
of Dr. Mead. 

D. Meadia. L. False Cowslip. American Cowslip. Corolla 
wheel-form, with long closely reflexed segments, giving it a fine 
and singular appearance ; flowers in an umbel, on a scape or stalk 
with radical leaves. There are two principal varieties of this 
beautiful plant. 

Anagallis. L. 5. 1. 

A. arvensis. L. Scarlet Pimpernel. From the Greek to 
laugh, because, as a medicine, it raises the spirits by improving 
the action of the liver, the supposed, as well as real, source of so 
much bile, good or bad. 

This species is found in the vicinity of Boston ; small, delicate, 


with bright scarlet flowers, which close on the approach of foul 
weather, and do not expand in a damp atmosphere. For this 
reason, the common name in England, where it is indigenous, is 
the Poor Man's Weatherglass. 

Hottonia. L. 5. 1. 

H. inflata. L. Water-feather. Named after Professor Hot- 
ton, of Leyden ; a singular genus ; aquatic, whorled, and much 
divided in its leaves, which grow near the surface ; flower-stalks 
arranged like an umbel ; swollen greatly between joints, and hollow 
within ; a contrivance probably to sustain the flowers, and expose 
them to the air and sun. Near Boston and New Bedford. 

Samolus. L. 5. 1. 
S. Valerandi. L. Water Pimpernel. Named from its sup- 
posed efficacy in curing all diseases of swine, from words which 
mean salutary to pigs. Grows beside ditches or brooks, in the 
vicinity of Boston, with small white flowers and stem a foot high ; 
native of Britain. 

Glaux. L. 5. 1. 

G. maritima. L. Black Saltw T ort. From the Greek for 
glaucous, and its loving the sea, about salt marshes ; stem 4 or 5 
inches high, very leafy ; leaves opposite, roundish, smooth, fleshy ; 
minute, reddish-white flowers ; no corolla, and a bell-form calyx. 

Lysimachia. L. 5. 1. Loosestrife. 

The English name is a translation of the Greek original, an- 
ciently supposed to quiet restive oxen ; or after king Lysimachus 
of Sicily. Loudon. The species are natives chiefly of Europe 
and North America. In the latter, about a dozen species have 
been found ; 5 are credited to this State, and are widely diffused. 

L. capitata. Ph. Inhabits swamps ; flowers capitate. 

L. racemosa. Link. Has a long terminal raceme, and stem 
erect and smooth ; in low grounds. 


L. quadrifolia. L. Whorls of 4 or 5 leaves ; low grounds. 

L. ciliata. Mx. Has ciliate petioles ; hedges and banks. 

L. hybrida. Mx. Very like the preceding ; moist grounds. 
All are rather handsome wild plants, with small yellow flowers. 

Trientalis. L. 7. 1. 
No reason assigned for the name, a third part ; only 2 species, 
T. Europcea, and the one native in this country. 

■ T. Jlmericana. Ph. Chick Wintergreen. A small, beautiful 
plant, not green through winter, having a cluster of leaves at the 
summit with the flowers ; blossoms w 7 ith w r hite stellate petals. It 
is little different from the European ; grows in open woods, and 
blossoms in May. It would form a handsome plant for gardens. 


Persistent, inferior, divided calyx ; irregular, 2-lipped, mono- 
petalous, bypogynous corolla, with a spur ; stamens 2, inserted at 
the base of the corolla ; ovary 1-celled, style 1 ; capsule 1-celled, 
many-seeded ; growing in water or marshes ; leaves radical and 
simple, or compound, similar to roots, bearing little vesicles. 

No known valuable properties ; most abundant within the tropics. 

Utricularia. L. 2. 1. Bladdenvort. 

Named from the vesicles on the leaves. Seven species credited 
to Massachusetts. The vesicles become filled with air, and raise 
the plant in the spring in the water so that the flower-stalk may 
rise above the water, and the blossom be fertilized and the fruit 
perfected. The vesicles contract in the latter part of the season, 
and the plant sinks. 

U. vulgaris. L. Common Bladderwort. In ponds, floating ; 
scape 5-9 flowered ; spur incurved ; August. 

U. cornuta. Mx. Leafless Bladderwort. Grows on wet rocks 


about ponds ; scape erect, rigid ; August. Of the other species, 
U. gibba, Gron., with small yellow flowers, has been found in the 
western part of this State. U. inflata, Walt., and purpurea, 
Walt., are not uncommon ; U. striata, Le Conte, occurs near 
Connecticut River. U. resupinata, Greene, was first detected by 
Dr. B. D. Greene in ponds in Tewksbury, and has since been 
found by the side of the ponds in Plymouth. 

ORDER 210. OROBANCHE.E. The Broomrape 


Calyx 1-leafed, divided, peristent ; corolla commonly 2-lipp- 
ed, irregular, inferior ; stamens 4, 2 longer than the others ; 
style J , stigma 2-lobed ; on a fleshy disk sits the ovary ; fruit 
capsular ; leafless, parasitic plants, growing from the roots of other 
plants ; stems scaly, whitish or brownish. 

This order is found chiefly in the middle and northern parts 
of Europe and Asia, North of Africa, and North America ; proper- 
ties of no great value. 

Orobanche. L. 13. 2. Broomrape. 

From the Greek, for vetch and to strangle, because, being parasites, 
they often destroy the plants they feed on. Some of the species 
in Europe fasten upon the roots of broom, furze, clover, and legu- 
minous plants, and destroy them. In Flanders, 0. major, L., 
has prevented the culture of clover in some places. Loudon. 
The plants of this genus are found in the Middle and South of 
Europe, North of Africa, and North America. About 4 species 
are found in this country, and 2 in this State ; singular and curi- 
ous plants, found in woods and moist grounds. 

O. Americana. L. Cancer Root. Because it has been used 
as a remedy for this dreadful disease. Stem simple, covered 
with scales ; flowers in a spike ; brownish yellow ; blossoms in 
July. Common in woods of beech, in Berkshire County. 

O. unijlora. L. Small Cancer Root. Stem 1 inch to 4 or 
5 inches high, 1-flowered, sometimes 2, pubescent ; woods ; 


These plants seem to be astringent and acrid, and offensive to 

Epiphagus. Nutt. 13. 2. 

Was taken from the preceding genus by Mr. Nuttall ; bears 
some flowers, which are not fertile. 

E. Jlmericana. Nutt. Cancer Root. Beech-drops. Stem 
often a foot high, leafless, branched, with small scales ; flowers 
small, alternate, fertile ones deciduous and smaller, striped ; in 
beech woods ; July, August. 

The plant has a drab appearance, and the bark appears to per- 
form the functions of leaves ; abundant in the western parts of the 



A numerous and important family of plants, widely spread over 
the world, from the hottest to the coldest regions where vegetation 
can live. In North America, the species are about s ^ of the 
flowering plants, and in Europe -^\. 

Calyx divided and permanent, 1-leafed ; corolla 1-petalled, in- 
ferior, deciduous, irregular, or very rarely regular ; stamens 
sometimes 2, usually 4, and then 2 are commonly longer, some- 
times all are equal in length ; ovary superior, 2-celled, many- 
seeded ; style 1, with a 2-lobed stigma ; leaves generally opposite. 

Plants generally to be suspected ; many are acrid, bitter, and 
produce dangerous symptoms on the human system ; some are 
healthful, some have valuable medicinal characters. 

Scrophularia. L. 13. 2. Figwort. 
Calyx 5-cleft ; corolla subglobose, turned backwards, shortly 
2-lipped. Supposed in former times to be a specific for scrophu- 
lous tumors, because its roots remotely resemble such swellings ; 
a genus of about 30 species, chiefly in the South of Europe, 2 
only in this country, and 1 in this State. About 25 species in- 
troduced into England. 


S. MaryJandica. L. Stem 3 or 4 feet high, square, not sharp 
on the corners, rather smooth, with large, opposite, and heart- 
shaped leaves, and small, roundish, capsule-like flowers on branch- 
ing flower-stalks, and of a brownish color within. The form of 
its calyx, like a globose cup open at the top, is very peculiar. 
Grows along woods and in fields ; June. 

Antirrhinum. L. 13. 2. Snap-Dragon. 
From the Greek, similar to a nose, from the snout-like form of 
the flowers ; a genus of about 70 species, chiefly indigenous to 
the South of Europe, and the opposite shores of Africa ; 2 spe- 
cies natives of this State, and some others introduced. 

A. elatine, L., and A. Canadense, L. Flax Snap-Dragon, or 
Toad-flax, scarcely deserve a notice here ; small, mere weeds, 
bluish- white and blue flowers ; July. 

A. linaria. L. Flax-like. Has a foliage much like that of 
flax, with many yellow spurred flow r ers in a spike. It was cul- 
tivated as an ornamental flower ; being hardy, it soon became 
naturalized about gardens, and spread into the fields ; a showy 
plant, 2 feet high. In some of the States, it has become a very 
troublesome weed ; blossoms from June to October. 

A. triornithophorum. L. Three Birds. (Greek, bearing 
three birds.) So named from the flowers, which are clustered 
in threes, like three little birds on one stem ; is cultivated for its 

A. majus. L. Garden Snap-Dragon . Presents several va- 
rieties, the scarlet, spotted, two-colored, and common, all which 
are beautiful flowers. 

Mimulus. L. 13. 2. Monkey Flower. 

From the Greek, for an ape or monkey, as the flowers are 
thought to resemble the head and mouth of that animal ; rather 
handsome plants ; a small genus, of which 4 species belong to 
this country and 2 to ]New England. 


M. ringens. L. A beautiful plant with blue flowers, com- 
mon about wet places ; flowers in August. The resemblance of 
the ringent flower to the mouth of a grinning monkey originates 
the specific name. 

M. alatus. L. Closely related to the last, and ordinary ob- 
servers would not notice any striking difference. 

Gratiola. L. 2. 1. Hedge Hyssop. 

From the Latin for grace or favor, on account of its supposed 
high medicinal virtues. The two species in this State, G. Vir- 
ginica, L., and G. aurea, Muhl., have yellow flowers, on an erect 
stem, about a foot high ; grow about ponds, and inundated sandy 
banks ; flower in August ; of no known use. 

Chelone. L. 13. 2. 

From the Greek, for tortoise, to which the helmet of this genus 
has been fancifully compared. Loudon. A North American 
genus of a few species. 

C. glabra. L. Snake Head. From the resemblance of the 
large whitish and inflated corolla to the mouth and head of a 
snake. Stem square, 2 or more feet high, with opposite, sleek, 
lanceolate, toothed leaves ; rudiment of a fifth stamen often in the 
flower ; low grounds and wet situations ; August. 

Digitalis. L. 13. 2. 

D. purpurea. L. Foxglove. A native of hedges in Britain, 
attractive for the great beauty of the flowers arranged in a long 
spike, and both white and purple ; now common in gardens 
for its beauty ; named from the resemblance of the flowers to a 
thimble, from the Latin for that article. As a medicine it is 
sedative and diuretic, diminishes the frequency of the pulse, and, 
in any considerable quantity, is a violent poison. 

Dracocephalum. L. 13. 2. Dragon's Head. 

Both names have the same meaning, and are founded on the 
same supposed resemblance. Several species belong to this 


country, but most to Siberia ; about 20 species have been intro- 
duced into England ; generally ornamental plants. The species 
often called Lady of the Lake is now common in gardens ; 
branched, long dense spikes of beautiful flowers, continuing long 
in blossom. Had it been named Lady of the Gardens, the desig- 
nation would have been very appropriate, if not so poetic. 

Limosella. L. 13. 2. Mudwort. 
From the Latin for mud and seat, the usual place of growth. 

L. subulata. Ives. A very small flowering plant ; stem an 
inch high, bearing one flower with radical linear leaves, as long as 
the stem or scape ; corolla short, bell-form, 5-cleft, and unequal, 
bluish-white ; August. Nantucket. 

L. tenuifolia. Nutt. Is also found in this State. 

LlNDERNIA. L. 13. 2. 

From F. Lindern, a botanist of Sweden ; a genus of few 
species, all belonging to North America except one ; some of the 
species are rather beautiful ; 2 stamens. 

L. pyxidaria. Ph. Has its specific name from the resem- 
blance of its foliage to that of Box ; stem small, square, smooth, 
with oblong, ovate leaves, dentate and sessile ; flowers axillary, 
pale-blue ; August. Common to Europe. 

L. dilatata, Muhl., and L. attenuata, Muhl., often called False 
Hedge Hyssop, both grow on inundated banks ; flower in August ; 
of little consequence. 

Penstemon. L. 13. 2. 

Besides the 4 stamens, this genus has a long, distinct rudiment 
of a fifth, hence its name from the Greek, five and stamen ; a 
North American genus of a dozen species, most of which have 
been cultivated in England ; one species common at the North. 

P. pubescens. L. Beard-tongue. A fine plant, 2 or more 


feet high, with pubescent stem, and lanceolate, clasping, sessile, 
serrulate leaves ; flowers in a terminal panicle or raceme, pale- 
purple or bluish ; hills and banks and valleys ; June ; a beautiful 
plant for borders. 

Gerardia. L. 13. 2. False Fox Glove. 

In honor of John Gerarde, an early English botanist ; a beau- 
tiful genus of plants almost exclusively belonging to America ; 
difficult of culture in England, but u deserving any pains necessary 
to their successful cultivation." Loudon. More than a dozen 
species have been described. 

Six species are spread over the State in open woods ; three, 
G. flava, L., G. glauca, Eddy, and G. pedicularia, L., are tall 
and large, 2-4 feet high, with prominent yellow flowers, and fine 
herbage, and are great ornaments to the woods in August and 
September. The others, G. purpurea, L., maritima, Raf., and 
tenuifolia, L., are small plants with beautiful purple flowers, and 
of these, G. maritima, Raf., is found in salt marshes. G. pe- 
dicuJaria, L., has a foliage like that of Lousewort, from which it 
is named ; it is a fine plant 2 feet high, and with the other large 
species would be a great addition to the stock of autumnal flowers. 

Veronica. L. 2. 1. Speedwell. 

Supposed by some to be named from the Celtic word for 
botany. An extensive genus, chiefly in Europe, containing near 
80 species, only a few common to this country and Europe, and 
a few indigenous to this country alone. About 60 species have 
been introduced and cultivated in England, and 10 more perhaps 
are natives of Britain ; 8 species belong to this State. 

V. serpyllifolia. L. Spreads over the grassy fields and streets 
in moist and dry soils, and flowers for months ; a short, humble 
plant, of beautiful flowers. Introduced. 

V. officinalis. L. Common Speedwell. Formerly had some 
reputation in medicine ; branching, opposite, and rough leaves, 
pale-blue flowers ; woods and fields ; May to August. 


V. scutellata. L. Marsh Speedwell. Grows about wet 

V. anagallis. L. Water Speedwell. Flowers purple ; in 

V. agrestis, L., and V. arvensis, L. Small weeds about gar- 
dens ; introduced, as probably the two preceding were ; to which, 
V. peregrina, L., of no more account, may be added. 

V. beccabunga. L. Brookline, from the German name of 
the plant (bach, brook, and bunge, bunch), put into a Latin form ; 
seems indigenous ; a rather handsome plant, about sluggish waters, 
with beautiful blue flowers, and rather fleshy, mucilaginous stem 
and leaves, and used sometimes for medicinal purposes. 

Several beautiful species have been introduced, and are culti- 
vated in the larger flower-gardens. 

Leptandra. Nutt. 2. 1. 

Taken from the preceding genus by Mr. Nuttall ; only one 
species certainly known. The capsule is ovate and acuminate, 
not obcordate, as in the other ; named from its long and slender 

L. Virginica. Nutt. Culver's Physic. Culver Root. Grows 
in alluvial meadows ; stem 2-4 feet high, erect, 4 or 5-sided, 
with whorled, lanceolate leaves, and a long, dense spike of white 
flowers ; July. Root bitter and offensive ; its cathartic power 
I have many times tested. A handsome plant, easily cul- 

SCHWALBEA. L. 13. 2. 

/S. Americana. Willd. A simple, pubescent plant, with 
lanceolate leaves, and terminal raceme of alternate flowers ; has 
been found, by Dr. Greene, at Plymouth. Big, 


ORDER 212. RHINANTHACEiE. The Rattle Tribe. 

Corolla monopetalous, personate, with a divided and leafy 
calyx, inferior, and the 4 stamens inserted in the side of the 
corolla, 2 of them shorter than the other pair ; ovary superior, 
2-celled, 2-seeded ; style one ; flowers axillary, and leaves 

Grow in the temperate parts of both continents ; not a very 
large assemblage of plants ; properties not of much interest. 

Rhinanthus. L. 13. 2. 

From the Greek for nose and flower, as its compressed corolla 
resembles remotely the snout of an animal. Few known species. 

R. crista-galli. L. Yellow Rattle. The only species in 
this country, rare ; a foot high, branching, smooth ; opposite, cor- 
date, rough leaves ; calyx large, inflated ; corolla yellow, much 
longer than the calyx ; meadows ; Plymouth ; July. Big. 

Bartsia. L. 13. 2. 

Named by Linnaeus, after his friend Dr. Bartsch ; a singular 
genus of plants, " of difficult cultivation " ; several species in this 
country and in Europe. 

B. coccinea. L. Painted Cup, about a foot high, with alter- 
nate leaves, and a cluster of flowers at the summit, which have 
bright-scarlet floral leaves or bracts, generally 3-cleft, which give 
much beauty to the flowers ; borders of woods ; June. 

This seems to be very properly separated by Mr. Nuttall, ta 
form the genus Euchroma. 

Melampyrum. L. 13. 2. Cow Wheat. 

From the Greek, for black and wheat, because its seed, which 
resembles wheat, gives a black color to bread. Only a few spe- 
cies in Europe, and 2 in the United States. 

M. Americanum. Mx. Grows in open woods in light soil, 


not a foot high, with a few axillary, yellowish flow T ers, and lance- 
olate leaves ; stem often branched at the upper part ; June. 

Pedicularis. L. 13. 2. Lousewort. 

The common name is a translation of the botanical, and arises 
from the supposition that sheep become lousy by feeding on it, 
while the poor pastures in which it grows is the probable reason 
of their being covered with vermin. Loudon. About 40 spe- 
cies are described, of which about a dozen belong to North 
America, and 2 to New England. The plants are somewhat 
showy, with regular, but much-cut leaves. A dozen species 
have been reared in the English gardens. 

P. Canadensis. L. Common Lousewort. Grows in open 
woods, and on sunny hills ; is extirpated easily by cultivation ; a 
short, somewhat prostrate plant, growing in clusters, with yellow 
or orange-colored flowers in short, dense spikes ; leaves lanceolate, 
pinnatifid, toothed or notched ; May. 

P. pallida. Ph. Tall Lousewort. Stem 1 or 2 feet high, 
branched, with pubescent lines ; leaves pinnatifid, toothed, and 
crenate ; flowers large, pale-yellow ; capsule short and broad- 
ovate ; low grounds ; September. 

ORDER 213. SOLANEiE. The Nightshade Tribe. 

Calyx inferior, persistent, 5-parted, rarely of 4 divisions ; 
corolla 1-petalled, cleft like the calyx, regular, rarely irregular or 
unequal ; stamens equal in number to the segments of the corolla, 
and inserted on it ; ovary superior, 2 or 4-celled ; leaves alternate, 
undivided or lobed. 

This order contains many important plants ; some healthful, 
some very poisonous, some beautiful ; found chiefly within the 
tropics. There are few species indigenous to New England ; 
many, however, are cultivated, or have been naturalized. General 
properties are cathartic, discutient, emetic, and antiscorbutic ; 
great diversity of properties. 

SOLANEiE. 165 

SOLANUM. L. 5, 1. 

Supposed by some to be derived from the Latin, to comfort ; a 
very doubtful etymology ; abounds in Mexico and Peru ; more 
than 140 species have been described ; only a few species are 
natives of the western temperate zone ; 2 are common in New 
England ; nearly 60 introduced into England. 

S. dulcamara. L. Bitter-sweet. Possesses in its roots the 
taste implied in its name ; common about houses and waste places, 
wet or dry, and bears bright red berries in clusters ; medicinal ; 
about 2 feet high, but, when trained, grows 8 or 10 feet. Big- 
elow's " Medical Botany." Supposed to be introduced from 
England. Shape of the leaves lyrate or fiddle-form. 

S. nigrum. L. Black Nightshade. A less common plant, 
in waste places, about fields ; berries black ; has the characters 
of a poisonous plant ; flowers nodding, white ; 2 or 3 feet high ; 
August. A native of this country as well as of Europe. 

S. tuberosum. L. Potato. The root is tuberous, hence the 
botanical name. Potato seems to be a corruption of the Spanish 
batata, by which name it was introduced into Spain from Peru 
about 1550. The French and Italians called it apple of the earth. 
The plant was introduced into England by Sir Walter Raleigh, 
or those who returned with him from Virginia in 1586, and called 
Virginia Potato. It has been found in its native soil only a few 
times by the later botanists, who have so extensively examined 
the various parts of America. In 1818, Dr. Baldwin, a distin- 
guished botanist of this country, saw it growing in its native state 
near Monte Video, on the river La Plata. Darlington. Hum- 
boldt also found it in South America. It is a small, slender plant 
bearing quite small tubers. Cultivation has made a great change 
in it, and vastly improved it. Slowly it came into use, and was 
considered as a root more fit for cattle and hogs than for man. 
It was probably a poor variety, some of which, now cultivated, 
are scarcely palatable. In the latter part of the last century, 
when it had become extensively used, it was regarded by many 


old people as scarcely fit food for respectable people. u The 
potato is now considered as the most useful esculent that is culti- 
vated. It is at the same time the most universally liked ; it seems 
to suit every palate. So generally is it relished, and so nutritious 
is it accounted, that on many tables it now appears almost every 
day in the year." Edin. Encyc. The use of the potato has made 
a great change as to some articles of food. The plant is likely to go 
on in improvement. A rather sandy soil appears best fitted for 
producing those most excellent for the table. To secure the con- 
tinuance of a good variety, it is necessary to plant it in grounds 
separate from others. 

The varieties of the potato need not enumeration. Those 
called the Pink-eye, the English White, Lady-finger, &c, have 
proved pretty durable varieties. The Rohan potato is attracting 
much attention at this time, from its size and the abundance of its 
yield, being several times that of any other yet known. 

The principal part of the Potato root is starch, great quantities 
of which are manufactured from it in farmhouses for domestic 
use. Its starch differs little from that of the wheat, and, besides 
its " use in the laundry, and as a hair-powder, is considered an 
equally delicate food as sago or arrow-root." Loudon. Though 
starch is easily converted by a chemical process into sugar, the 
fermentative process is too rapid and strong to admit of the pro- 
duction of sugar from it, at least in any considerable quantity. 

£. lycopersicwn. L. Tomato. The specific name is from 
the* Greek, for icolf and peach, from the beauty of the fruit and 
its deceitful value. Loudon. The estimate of the fruit seems to 
be much changed. It has for some time been " one of the most 
important articles used in Italian cookery," and in England and 
this country its cultivation has greatly increased, and it is now a 
very agreeable and important vegetable. Its peculiar acid seems 
to be most grateful to the stomach, and in many instances has 
averted the evils of dyspepsia and kindred affections. A pro- 
fessed extract of the fruit has been prepared for use, when the 
fruit cannot be obtained. The danger of imposition upon the 
public in all such cases need only be adverted to. The fruit, 
plucked before it is ripe, is often pickled. The preservation 


of the fruit in some way, by which its properties should not be 
essentially altered, is a great desideratum for dyspeptics. The 
more successful method for securing the end will probably be the 
forced cultivation of the plant in hot-houses. A native of South 
America, and often called Love Apple. 

S. melongena. L. Egg Plant. A native of Africa, Asia, 
and America, and its specific name is from the Arabian word by 
which it is known. Cultivated in Europe and our country for its 
fruit, which is used as food and a condiment. Some varieties 
are cultivated for ornament, as they bear a beautiful white fruit of 
the size and color of a hen's egg, on a small, delicate plant. 


S. pseudo-capsicum. L. Jerusalem Cherry. Winter Cherry. 
A small ornamental shrub, beautiful in form and color, and bear- 
ing a few large cherry-looking berries. 

Capsicum. L. 
C. annuum. L. Red Pepper. The known pepper of the 
gardens, so grateful as a condiment. The finely pulverized red 
covering of the fruit, which is the powder of C. baccatum, L., 
forms a substitute for Cayenne Pepper. As a pickle, the green 
fruit is considerably used and valued. Our garden plant, is from 
India. The genus is named from the Greek, to bite, from the 
biting effect of the seed and fruit in the mouth. 

Physalis. L. 5. 1. Ground Cherry. Winter Cherry. 

From the Greek, for bladder, from the inflated calyx inclosing 
the fruit ; chiefly an American and Southern genus. ; some spe- 
cies are shrubby. 

P. obscura. Mx. Common Ground Cherry. Stem pros- 
trate, spreading, pubescent ; leaves broad-cordate, nearly solitary, 
coarsely toothed ; flower single, nodding, pale-yellow, with purple 
spots at the base ; hills ; August. 

P. Pennsylvanica. L. Also herbaceous, branched, with 
ovate leaves ; a foot high ; flowers yellow, and berries red ; road- 


sides ; July to September. Both species grow in the vicinity of 
Amherst College. 

P. alkekengi. L. Winter Cherry. A rather handsome 
plant, cultivated for ornament, with sour and rather bitter berries ; 
a native of the South of Europe, where the berries are cc eaten 
as a common fruit " ; formerly esteemed aperient and de- 
tergent. Loudon. 

Hyoscyamus. L. 5. 1. 
H. niger. L. Henbane. A poisonous plant, sometimes 
cultivated for its medicinal properties ; a native of Britain, and 
the genus belongs to the eastern continent. The genus is named 
from the Greek for hog and bean, from the notion that hogs eat 
the poisonous fruit with safety ; a pubescent, fetid plant, not eaten 
by quadrupeds ; naturalized in some places. Bigelow's "Medi- 
cal Botany." 

Datura. L. 5. 1. 

Name altered from the Arabic ; only a few species, widely 
spread over the earth. 

D. stramonium. L. Thorn Apple. Found occasionally by 
roadsides and in waste places, and growing 2 or 3 feet high ; stem 
large, strong, branching by forks at the top, bearing long funnel- 
form flowers, white, or bluish-white, with a plaited border. A 
variety called D. tatula, L., altered from the Persian name Datula, 
for the plant, and by some considered a distinct species, has a 
purple stem, much dotted. The seeds of the Stramonium were 
introduced into England from Constantinople, and the plant is 
now common in that country. A few years ago this plant was 
considered as a specific for asthma ; it has followed the fate of 
all specifics, though it has not lost its valuable properties, even in 
that disease, any palliative of which is greatly to be desired. The 
plant, like the preceding, has an offensive odor, and is poisonous ; 
the seeds are a deadly poison. Bigelow's " Medical Botany." 

SOLANEiE. 169 

Nicotiana. L. 5. 1. Tobacco. 
Named after Nicot, ambassador from France to Portugal in 
1560, who received the seeds by a Dutchman from Florida. The 
common name tobacco, is derived from that of a province of Mexico. 
Fourteen species, all that have been described, have been intro- 
duced into England, nearly all of which belong to South America. 
The aborigines were found to cultivate this plant over the warmer 
parts of the country. Two species are raised as tobacco, but one 
is most common and far preferable. 

JV*. tabacum. L. Cultivated in rich soil, called Virginia To- 
bacco. It would be a curious plant were it not for its offensive 
smell, nauseous taste, and poisonous qualities. Of all the plants 
indigenous to America, very few are more deadly poisons than 
tobacco. The use of it as a luxury, and as a necessary from 
habit, is one of the strangest facts in the history of man, as the 
plant is offensive at first to nearly all who begin to use it, and as 
the natural repugnance of our system must be overcome by severe, 
and repeated, and continued effort. Must not the use of so 
poisonous a plant have a deleterious effect upon most constitu- 
tions ? Is it not probable, that no small portion of the ill health 
of those who use tobacco, is to be traced to the power of this 
noxious weed taken in so often repeated doses ? The writer 
believes himself to have been a great sufferer from its use. At 
any rate, after more than twenty years' use of tobacco, in smok- 
ing or chewing, or both, and suffering under dyspepsia and its 
attendant pains and evils, the entire disuse of tobacco for more 
than five years, has been followed by the renovation of a wasted 
constitution, and the return of excellent health and strength. 
Various others, who have liberated themselves from the slavery of 
the habit, have experienced the same beneficial results. In no 
known case has the disuse, even to total abstinence from the nau- 
seous weed, been followed by any pernicious consequences. 

In any of the modes of using tobacco, the want of neatness of 

the habit deserves consideration. To the breath it gives the vilest 

perfume, the" most nauseating odor, which none but the user and 

the tobacco-worm can endure. The teeth it makes offensive, and 



perhaps hastens their decay. If you wish to produce the most 
deadly sickness with retchings, which seem like the giving way 
of nature, give a person a dose of the juice of tobacco. 

It is a stimulant, and a powerful narcotic ; any considerable 
dose produces most alarming symptoms. 

The virulence of the poison in tobacco has been ascertained 
by direct experiments of Franklin, Brodie, and Mussey. A 
drop or two of the oil of tobacco applied to the tongue of strong 
and healthy cats, produce convulsions, agony, retching, and death 
in a few minutes. Upon a dog, and some other animals, similar 
dreadful effects were produced from the oil by Dr. Mussey. A 
small quantity of the decoction of tobacco leaves produces most 
serious effects upon the human system, and upon animals, when 
taken internally, or applied to the surface. Death has sometimes 
soon followed such applications. Dr. Long has reported the 
effects of applying the oil from a tobacco pipe for the cure of a 
ringworm at the root of the nose. "Immediately loss of sense, 
locking of the jaws, and deathlike countenance followed. Re- 
covery from the ill effects has not been complete ; from a healthy 
child, she has continued sickly to this time," as Dr. Long in- 
formed me a few days ago. The poison was applied in April, 
1834. Other similar facts are on record. To the teeth, the ap- 
petite, and the stomach, the nostrils and throat, the use of tobacco 
is injurious. The waste of money, too, for so dirty a gratifica- 
tion, is prodigious and astonishing. 

"It is doubtful whether all the benefits which have accrued to 
Europe from the discovery of America, have not been counter- 
balanced by the introduction of this universal luxury [poison], 
produced at the expense of human liberty, and of a soil which 
could otherwise be employed in augmenting the necessaries of 
life, independent of the diseases inseparable from the use of so 
powerful a narcotic." Nuttall. 

It is cultivated to considerable extent in some parts of the 

Lycium. L. 5. 1. 
L. barbarum. L. Matrimony Vine. Introduced from the 
East, and named, from Lycia, the province where one of the 


species flourished ; a beautiful shrubby plant, easily trained, with 
fine foliage, and delicate whitish and purple flowers, continuing a 
long time to blossom. Its stamens vary from 4 to 5, but its place 
is with those which have 5. A native species is found in the 
Southern States. 

Nicandra. Adanson. 5. 1. 
Named in honor of a Greek physician, Nicander, by Adanson, 
who removed it from the Linnaean genus Atropa. 

JV\ physaloides. Pers. Found in the vicinity of New Bed- 
ford ; stem branched, 2 or 3 feet high, bearing solitary, pale-blue 
flowers, in the axils of the leaves ; seeds in a fleshy berry ; a 
native of Peru ; introduced. 

The Indians of Peru used the berries for the relief of the gravel 
and other urinary diseases. 

Atropa. L. 5. 1. 

Has its name from one of the Fates, as its deadly poison does 
the work of Atropos in cutting short the lives of men. 

A. belladonna. L. Deadly Nightshade. Its specific name, 
fair lady, is derived from its use, as some suppose, in making the 
skin smooth and fair ; found in Britain ; rarely cultivated in this 
country ; a deadly poison ; used in medicine for certain purposes ; 
wonderfully dilates the pupil of the eye. 

Verbascum. L. 5. 1. Mullein. 

Its name is a corruption of another, given on account of the 
thick woolly or beardlike covering of the leaves and stem ; chiefly 
natives of the South of Europe. 

V. Thapsus. L. Common Mullein. Named from the Isle of 
Thapsos, where it is indigenous ; a well-known plant of the roads 
and neglected fields ; its yellow, spiked flowers would make it 
very respectable in appearance, were it not for the bad company 
it bas kept, and the bad reputation it has fastened on itself. The 
plant is mucilaginous and emollient, and the leaves, boiled in milk, 
have been used as a great relief to the piles ; naturalized. 


V. blattaria. L. Garden Mullein. This plant is named 
from its supposed power of driving away the blatta or cockroach. 
It is a rather handsome plant of the gardens, cultivated for its 
flowers ; smooth ; flowers whitish ; introduced from Britain ; it 
has wandered, in a few instances, into the roads or fields, and 
propagated itself. 

A few species are said to be beautiful plants, and near twenty 
have been introduced into England. 


Calyx in 5 nearly equal segments ; corolla of 1 petal, irregular, 
limb 2-lipped, and swollen towards the upper part of the tube ; 
stamens 4, 2 long and the other pair short ; flowers axillary ; 
leaves opposite. 

This order is named from Pedalium, a genus of the East In- 
dies, so called from its hard and prickly fruit. 

Martynia. L. 13. 2. 
Named in honor of J. Martyn, a distinguished English botanist ; 
found chiefly within the tropics. 

M. proboscidea. L. Unicorn Plant. From the long, curved, 
proboscis-like termination of the fruit-vessel ; sometimes culti- 
vated in gardens ; a low plant, with large leaves, and large yellow 
flowers, and of nauseous, offensive odor ; a native of the Southern 

Sesamum. L. 13. 2. 
S. Indicum. L. Oily-grain. Introduced from the East, and 
cultivated occasionally in gardens. Upper leaves undivided, the 
lower 3-lobed, serrate ; flowers reddish-white ; seeds used in 
cookery, contain much excellent oil. Leaves emollient. 

ORDER 220. VERBENACE^E. The Vervain Tribe. 

Calyx tubular, inferior, persistent ; corolla 1-petalled, tubular, 
deciduous ; stamens 4, rarely 2, one pair commonly shorter than 


the others ; ovary superior, 2 or 4-celled ; style 1 ; leaves gen- 
erally opposite. 

The plants are common in the tropics, but not in the northern 
temperate zone ; generally of little use. 

Verbena. L. 13. 2. Vervain. 
The name in Latin and English is said to be from the Celtic 
name of the plant. Anciently some species of this genus had 
great reputation, but all that seems to be irretrievably lost. About 
20 species have been described, and all belong to America except 
V. officinalis ; 3 are found in this State ; more than a dozen have 
been cultivated in England. 

V. hastata. L. Common Vervain. Stem 2-4 feet high, 
with rough leaves, and small purple flowers in a crowded spike ; 
leaves lanceolate, and those near the root hastate ; flowers purple, 
tubular, with an unequal limb ; roads ; July. 

V. urticifolia. L. Nettle-leafed Vervain. Much like the 
last, rather pubescent, with small white flowers ; roadsides, with 
the other ; common, but not abundant ; July. 

V. angustifolia. Mx. Narrow-leafed Vervain. Has linear- 
lanceolate leaves, remotely toothed ; stem a foot high, hairy, with 
blue flowers ; rocky grounds ; June. 

V. officinalis. L. The only species common to Europe, and 
supposed to be the plant so much used in medicine, in religious 
offerings, and feasts, is now a neglected plant ; rarely cultivated 
in this country. 

Phryma. L. 13. 2. 

P. leptostachya. L. Lopseed. The reflexed seed-vessel is 
a very distinct character ; flowers in a long spike, with large 
leaves below ; grows along hedges and woods ; July. 

This is an American genus of only one species. 


ORDER 221. LABIATE. The Mint Tribe. 

This is a large order of important plants. They have a tubular, 
irregular corolla, 2-lipped, with the upper lip entire or bifid, and 
the under lip 3-lobed and larger, overlapped by the upper, sur- 
rounded by a tubular calyx, 5 or 10-cleft, or 2-lipped, inferior, 
persistent ; stamens 4, 2 long and 2 shorter, inserted on the 
corolla, or with only 2 stamens, occasionally with the rudiments 
of the other sometimes present ; ovarium 4-lobed, each lobe 
having the rudiment of a seed, with 1 style rising from the base 
of these lobes, and terminating in a bifid stigma; fruit 1-4 
naked seeds or small nuts contained in the permanent calyx which 
operates in part like a seed-vessel ; stems 4-cornered, with oppo- 
site leaves, abounding in little sacs of aromatic oil. 

The oil, with the bitter principle, makes these plants tonic and 
stomachic, and highly grateful and pleasant. Not one poisonous 
plant is found in the order. They are used for many economical 
and medicinal purposes. Camphor is one of their common pro- 

The plants are widely spread over the temperate regions of the 
earth, generally in warm, dry situations, not often in marsh-like 
places. In Germany, France, and the United States, they form 
about one twenty-fourth of the flowering plants ; in some places a 
little more. Twenty-four genera and 37 species are found in this 
State, besides many cultivated species of other genera. Some 
of these, appearing as indigenous, have undoubtedly been intro- 
duced from their native soils in other countries. 

Lycopus. L. 2. 1. Water Horehound. 
Named from the Greek for wolf and foot, from the shape of 
some of the leaves. 

L. Virginicus, L., Bugleweed, and L. Europceus,Mx., Water 
Horehound, are common in rather moist situations in the fields, 
about a foot high, with small whitish flowers in clusters or whorls 
about the opposite sides of the square stem. 

These have had considerable reputation as a remedy for bleed- 

LABIATiE. 175 

ing at the lungs, or spitting blood, but it seems to have greatly 
diminished. As the plants have no very strong properties, their 
influence was doubtless overestimated. Besides, the decoction 
of the plant might relieve and palliate the symptoms, and yet have 
little influence in removing the cause of the disease. Perhaps, 
too, the application of the plant was in cases not truly coming 
under those affections of the lungs, which are so rarely arrested 
in their progress to a fatal termination. 

MONARDA. L. 2. 1. 

Named in honor of N. Monardez, a physician. It includes 
several beautiful species, and is a North American genus of a 
dozen species, which have been cultivated in England ; 4 species 
belong to this State, and are more common in the western part of 
it. They grow in light soils, some about woods or hedges, not 
very abundant. 

M. oblongata. Ait. Found about Boston also ; grows about 
2 feet high, bearing whorls of bluish flowers ; in gardens. 

M. didyma. L. The cultivated species, with large whorls of 
deep-red or scarlet flowers, and commonly called balm or bee-balm, 
which is a different plant of this order. In general appearance 
and odor, the two, however, are much alike. 

M. clinopodia. L. Is 3 feet high, with pale purple flowers ; 
often cultivated. 

M. hirsuta. Ph. A hairy plant, stem 2 or 3 feet high ; 4 or 
5 whorls of flowers on the upper part of the branches ; small 
pale-blue flowers. 

Hedeoma. Pers. 2. 1. 

From the Greek for mint ; an American genus except one 
species ; small plants. 

H. pulegioides. Pers. Pennyroyal. A humble, strong- 
scented plant, in fields and on dry hillsides ; its decoction had 


formerly some reputation as a sudorific ; has many flowers in 
whorls, and receives its specific name from Mentha pulegium, L. 


In honor of P. Collinson, a correspondent of Linnaeus ; a 
North American genus, containing 7 species. 

C. Canadensis. L. Horse Balm. A strong-scented plant, 
2-3 feet high, with large yellow flowers on a long terminal pani- 
cle, and with large, broad leaves below ; in hedges and open 
woods ; matures but one seed in the calyx ; July. It is some- 
times called Horseweed. 

Salvia. L. 2. 1. 

From the Latin to save, from its supposed healing powers ; a 
large and rather handsome genus of 112 species, widely spread 
over the warmer parts of the earth ; near 50 species are found in 
North and South America ; many of those of tropical regions 
have splendid flowers. Two are commonly cultivated in gardens ; 
near 100 species have been introduced into gardens in England. 

S. officinalis. L. Sage. Common Sage. Well known for 
its aromatic odor, its use in cookery, and for its decoction, taken 
for its sudorific property ; a native of the South of Europe. 
The Chinese use it as a tonic. 

>S. sclarea. L. Common Clary. A larger plant with larger 
leaves and flowers, and stronger odor ; from Italy, and not very 
common. Has its specific name from the Greek for stiff, as it is 
a stiff plant. 

Rosmarinus. L. 2. 1. 
R. officinalis. L. Rosemary. From the South of Europe ; 
cultivated for properties similar to those of Sage ; grows near the 
sea, and named Sea-deio ; a fine aromatic tonic, in considerable 
use formerly ; shrubby. 

LABIATiE. 177 

Glechoma. L. 13. 1. 
From the Greek name of a kind of Thyme ; a genus of 2 spe- 
cies, and of little use in later times. 

G. hederacea. L. Ground Ivy. A low, trailing plant, dense- 
ly covering the earth, and hence often named G ill- grow- over -the- 
ground, with opposite kidney-shaped leaves, and bright-blue 
flowers ; the stamens so stand, that the anthers form a distinct 
cross. A native of Britain ; by many supposed to be introduced 
into our country, and by some considered indigenous. Once had 
reputation as a medicine. 

Hyssopus. L. 13. 1. Hyssop. 
The Latin form from the Hebrew and Arabic name of some 
unknown plant ; a genus of few species. 

H. nepetoides. W. (Lophanthus of Hitchcock's Catalogue.) 
Named from its resemblance to Catnep or Nepeta, is widely spread 
about fences and dry hedges, 2 or more feet high. Indigenous, 
with the following, to North America. 

H. scrophularifolius. W. Nearly as common, and in similar 
situations ; often considered only a variety of the preceding, but 
seems distinct ; larger, and broad-leafed. 

H. officinalis. L. Garden Hyssop. Is from the South of 
Europe, a fine fragrant plant, and formerly popular as a medicine. 

Nepeta. L. 13. 1. 

Named from Nepet, in Tuscany ; a genus of about 30 species, 
chiefly in the South part of Europe, and the adjacent countries 
of Africa and Asia ; the middle segment of the lower lip of the 
corolla is finely crenate, and the throat quite open. 

N. cataria. L. Cat Mint, or Catnep. Because cats are fond 
of it in winter ; for in this country, as in Europe, they seek it in 
winter, and roll themselves on the dried leaves, and eat it ; when 


it is raised from the seed, cats are said not to touch it, while they 
work at that which is transplanted and larger. Loudon. It is 
still used in decoction as a popular medicinal drink. An exotic 
from Britain. It is one of the plants that follows man wherever 
he settles. 

Leonurus. L. 13. 1. 

From the Greek for lion and tail, as its spikes of flowers have 
some resemblance to the bushy tail of that animal ; a genus of 7 
species in the Northern and Middle parts of Asia. 

L. cardiaca. L. Mother Wort. A well-known plant about 
houses and gardens ; celebrated formerly for its high medicinal 
character, and still considerably used as a popular drink for the 
relief of colds and affections of the chest. A fine looking plant, 
with handsome flowers, and beautiful 3-lobed leaves ; introduced 
into Europe from Tartary, and thence into America, and now 
naturalized over a great extent of the earth ; another plant that 
follows closely after man in his migrations. 

Clinopodium. L. 13. 1. 

From the Greek for bed and foot, as the cluster of flowers has 
some resemblance to the caster of a bed's foot ; not a large 
genus ; belonging to the eastern continent chiefly. 

C. vulgare. L. Wild Basil. Field Thyme. Found in 
rocky woods, and doubtless indigenous to this country ; a foot or 
more high, with purple or reddish flowers in dense hairy whorls, 
with hairy leaves ; aromatic ; July. 

Lamium. L. 13. 1. 

As its flowers have a rude resemblance to some beast, the plant 
is named after Lamia, a monster of the sea ; a small genus, chief- 
ly in Europe. 

L. amplexicaule. L. Dead Nettle. Hen-bit. A small slen- 
der plant, in gardens and roadsides, with small rose- colored 
flowers, and stem half a foot or more high ; floral leaves broadly 
cordate ; May to September. 

LABIAT/E. 179 

Marrubium. L. 13. 1. 
From the name of a town in Italy on the Fucine Lake, Maria- 
urbs ; a small genus. 

M. vulgare. L. Horehound. This plant is from Britain, 
and has become naturalized in many places, in sandy roads and 
fields ; aromatic, tonic, diuretic, and laxative, used in affections 
of the lungs, and still a popular medicine. 

Prunella. L. 13. 1. 
A softening of the German name of a disease in the jaws and 
throat, for which this was considered a specific ; a European ge- 
nus of a few species. 

P. Pennsylvanica. W. Self-heal. Heal-all. Spread over 
fields and pastures, bearing heads of beautiful purplish flowers, 
not used to heal any thing. This is doubtless a mere variety of 
P. vulgaris, L., introduced from Europe. 

Ballota. L. 13. 1. 

B. nigra. L. Black Horehound. A less common plant, 
introduced from Britain about Boston ; calyx with 5 teeth and 
10 ribs ; stem 2-3 feet high, with slightly cordate leaves, flowers 
in axillary whorls, white or purple ; July. 

From the Greek to reject, on account of its offensive odor. 

Galeopsis. L. 13. 1. Hemp Nettle. 
From the Greek for weasel and appearance, as the flower is 
thought to have some resemblance to that animal ; 8 species of 
this genus, chiefly in Europe ; none indigenous to this country. 

G. Tetrahit. L. Flowering Nettle. About houses and waste 
places, branching, hispid along the stem backwards, and with the 
joints thickened towards the upper part, and rather handsome 
flowers ; introduced from Europe. In some places it seems to 
have sprung up from the straw thrown out from crates of crockery, 
introduced from England. 


G. ladanum. L. Red Hemp Nettle. A smaller plant with 
a hairy stem, and far more rare. Indeed it is credited only to 
Chelsea Beach by Dr. Bigelow. 

Stachys. L. 13. 1. 

From the Greek for a spike, as the flowers are sessile along the 
stem, and in all the species the inflorescence is in spikes ; near 
40 species, mostly in Europe and the North part of Asia ; about 
35 have been cultivated in England ; 4 or 5 are found in the 
United States, and 3 in this State. 

S. aspera. Mx. Hedge Nettle. About a foot high, erect, 
with the angles hairy backwards, and lanceolate leaves, sharp- 
serrate ; teeth of calyx spreading and spiny ; fields ; July ; pur- 
ple flowers in whorls so as to be spike-form. 

S. hyssopifolia. Mx. A small plant half a foot or more high, 
with linear leaves and a hairy purple corolla ; meadows ; July ; 
near New Bedford. 

S. sylvatica. L. Has probably been introduced from Europe. 

Thymus. L. 13. 1. 

T. vulgaris. L. Thyme. Cultivated in gardens, and natural- 
ized in a few places. Named from the Greek for courage, as its 
aromatic odor is reviving. The plant yields considerable cam- 
phor ; formerly used in cookery ; its extract is penetrating and 

Trichostema. L. 13. 1. 
From the Greek for hair and stamen, as its stamens are slender 
and hair-like ; a genus of 3 species in North America, and 1 in 

T. dichotoma. L. Blue Curls. A rather handsome plant 
with numerous terminal flowers, and long, arching stamens ; pas- 
tures and hills of light soil ; June. 


Teucrium. L. 13. 1. 
In honor of Teucer, a Trojan prince ; a genus of more than 
70 species, chiefly in Europe, but many in other countries ; 2 in 
the United States. 

T. Canadense. L. Wild Germander. A foot high, with a 
square stem and downy leaves ; flowers purple in a whorled spike ; 
whole plant hoary-pubescent ; bracts longer than the calyx ; low 
grounds ; July. Very little use is made of the plant. 

ISANTHUS. Mx. 13. 1. 

From the Greek for equal and flower, because the 5 segments 
of the corolla are equal ; a North American genus of 1 species, 
and no known use ; stamens nearly equal. 

1. cceruleus. Mx. False Penny Royal. Covered with a 
viscid pubescence ; pale-blue flowers, axillary and pedicillate ; 
calyx becoming rusty ; banks of rivers ; June. 

Mentha. L. 13. 1. Mint. 
From the Greek, as the poets feign that Mintha, a daughter of 
Cocytus, w r as transformed into a plant of the same name ; a genus 
of more than 30 species, of which near five sixths are found in 
Europe, and the rest in very different parts of the world ; some 
are shrubby ; about 30 have been cultivated in England ; 3 belong 
to the United States, and 2 have been introduced. 

M. borealis. Mx. Horse Mint. About a foot high, hairy, 
with many whorled pale-purple flowers, and strong odor ; leaves 
lanceolate and serrate ; sandy soils ; August ; a fine plant, and 
would be ornamental in gardens. 

M. viridis. L. Spear Mint. Too well known to need de- 
scription ; pleasant for its odor ; July ; introduced from England. 
It is used for culinary purposes in England, and its oil is con- 
sidered pleasant and medicinal. 


M. piperita. Sm. Peppermint. This plant has become 
naturalized in many places along streams and moist grounds, having 
been cultivated extensively for the manufacture of oil of Pepper- 
mint. A few years since, it was a profitable product of the farm 
in several towns in Berkshire County. The essential oil is anti- 
spasmodic, and given for pains and colic from spasms ; used as 
a stomachic also, a carminative, sometimes for relief of dyspeptic 
symptoms. The essence of Peppermint should be given with 
much caution. 

Pycnanthemum. Mx. 13. 1. 

From the Greek for dense and flower, as the blossoms are in a 
dense head ; a North American genus of near a dozen species, 
of which 5 belong to this State. They are widely scattered, but 
are not very abundant ; grow in fields and along hedges and woods. 

P. verticillatum, Pers., and P. incanum, Mx. Mountain 
Mint. Are rather handsome plants, and have been sometimes 
cultivated in English gardens. Both are pubescent and whitish. 

P. lanceolatum, Ph., and P. linifolium, Ph. Virginia Thyme. 
Are 1—2 feet high, branched, with nearly level-topped corymbs 
of white and small flowers ; much alike, but may be distinguished. 

P. aristatum. Mx. Has hoary lanceolate-ovate leaves, with 
sessile heads of flowers. This was considered a Nepeta by 
Linnaeus, and the preceding two have been placed in the genus 

Scutellaria. L. 13. 1. 

From the Latin word for a small vessel, on account of the shape 

of the calyx, like a cup with a handle, and when inverted, like a 

helmet. Loudon. A genus of near 30 species, of which about 

a dozen are in the United States ; 2 are common in New England. 

S. galericulata. L. Scull-Cap. Branched, 1 - 2 feet high ; 
leaves cordate-lanceolate, nearly sessile ; large blue flowers, soli- 
tary or in pairs ; calyx hairy ; marshy places ; August. 


jSi. lateriflora. L. Much branched, nearly smooth, 1 -2 feet 
high, with petioled leaves ; flowers small, blue, in lateral racemes ; 
wet meadows, and borders of wet woods ; July. 

A few years ago this species had great reputation as a cure for 
the bite of a mad-dog ; no confidence is placed in it now. The 
hydrophobia, like other acute and powerful diseases, is, perhaps, 
not designed to have any specific remedy. 

Several plants of this order are found in the gardens, continual- 
ly cultivated for some desirable property. 

Origanum. L. 13. 1. 
0. majorana. L. Sweet Marjoram. Distinguished for its 
odor ; from Portugal ; its essential oil is acrid and caustic. 
Loudon. Named from the Greek for mountain joy, from its place 
and pleasantness. 

Octmum. L. 13. 1. 

0. basilicum. L. Basil. Another sweet-scented plant, from 
India, named from the Greek to smell, on account of its strong 
odor, and royal basil, from its use in medicine, in ancient times, 
basil being only a shortening of the Greek for royal. It has lost 
its medicinal reputation in a great degree. 

Melissa. L. 13. 1. 

J\I. officinalis. L. The true Balm, from Italy. From the 
Greek for bee, as that insect delights in this plant for its honey. 
Odor pleasant, flowers and foliage handsome, formerly used as a 
tonic, diuretic, and stomachic ; now little used except as a pleas- 
ant drink in fevers. Scarcely naturalized. 

Satureja. L. 13. 1. 

S. hortensis. L. Summer Savory. A fine culinary aromatic 
from Italy, found in most gardens. 

Lavandula. L. 13. 1. 
L. spica. L. Lavender, or Sweet Lavender. From the 
Latin to u-ash, because Lavender water has long been used for its 
effects upon the skin ; a native of the South of Europe. It is a 
stimulant and tonic ; the oil is considerably used. 



M. Icevis. W. Shell Flower. Brought from Molucca, and 
cultivated for ornament ; fine large flowers, with a singular, en- 
larged, flat-oval calyx, which originates the English name. The 
Moluccas afforded the species from which the genus was named. 

ORDER 222. BORAGINE^. The Borage Tribe. 

Corolla monopetalous, 5-cleft, sometimes 4-cleft, usually regu- 
lar, surrounded by a persistent calyx of 5 or 4 divisions ; throat 
or upper part of the corolla open, or sometimes closed ; ovarium 
4-parted ; style simple ; stem round, leaves opposite, usually 

Several genera of native plants belong to this order, of which 
the species are not numerous ; some, cultivated, have been intro- 
duced from other countries. 

Borago. L. 5. 1. 

B. officinalis. L. Borage. A rough-leafed plant, intro- 
duced from England, and now partially naturalized ; was formerly 
used as a distinguished cordial ; fine blue flowers, with a flat border 
or limb, and a finely rotate or wheel-shaped corolla. 

Symphytum. L. 5. 1. 
S. officinale. L. Comfrey. Another plant of the gardens, 
with white flowers in clusters, partially naturalized, and growing 
for years in the same place, and extending itself very little. 
Formerly used as a vulnerary, and famed for healing wounds ; its 
name is from the Greek for union ; the English name probably 
from its comfortable influence on wounds. Blossoms along time ; 
a mucilaginous plant ; introduced from England. 

Anchusa. L. 5. 1. 

A. officinalis. L. Bugloss. From the Greek for paint, as 
the root of one species was used for staining the features, and the 
English name is ox-tongue, on account of the shape of the leaves, 
and their roughness, from the Greek for ox and tongue ; much 


like Borage in properties ; introduced from Britain ; flowers 

PlJLMONARIA. L. 5. 1. 

P. officinalis. L. Lungwort. Probably named from its use 
in pulmonary affections ; a native of England ; rather rare, even 
in gardens. 

Cynoglossum. L. 5. 1. Hound's Tongue. 

The English name is the translation of the generic name, from 
the Greek. 

C. officinale. L. Common Hound's Tongue. A woolly 
plant, bearing deep-red flowers, by roads and in fields ; of offen- 
sive odor. It has been used as antiscrofulous ; seems to be a 
native of this country as well as England. 

C. Virginicum. L. Hairy also, with a stem nearly hispid ; 
flowers blue. It is rather doubtful whether this species is in 
Berkshire County, as once announced. Shady w r oods ; May. 

Lithospermum. L. 5. 1. Stone Seed. 
The English name is a translation of the generic name. 

L. arvense. L. Corn Gromwell. Bearing white flowers, 
with rough, hairy, sessile leaves. 

L. officinale. L. Common Gromwell. Covered with stiff 

hairs, with yellow axillary flowers, a foot or two high. This and 

the preceding are not very common plants of the fields ; doubtless 
introduced from Europe. 

Lycopsis. L. 5. 1. 

L. arvensis. L. Small Bugloss. Grows in sandy fields, 
very hispid, with bright-blue flowers in a raceme ; corolla funnel- 
form, with the tube incurved, and the throat closed with scales. 

Named from the Greek for wolf and eye, on account of the im- 


aginary resemblance of the blue flowers to the eye of the wolf ; 
a mere weed. 

L. Virginica. L. A small, hispid plant with its lower leaves 
spatulate, and its racemes solitary ; found in dry woods. 

Echium. L. 5. 1. 

E. vulgare. L. Viper's Bugloss. Corolla nearly bell-form 
with a short tube, large and blue in lateral spikes ; stem erect, 
bristly ; hills ; June. 

A very handsome plant ; named from the Greek for viper. 

Onosmodium. L. 5. 1. 
0. hispidum. L. From the Greek, for its resemblance to 
Onosma, a genus of this order ; calyx deeply 5-parted, with linear 
segments ; hills ; August ; a weed of our country. 

Myosotis. L. 5. 1. 

From the Greek for mouse and ear, on account of the shape 
and velvety surface of the leaves of one species. 

J\I. arvensis. Sibth. Forget-me-not. This is like M. scor- 
pioidesj L., and called by the same English name ; introduced 
from England ; a pubescent, grayish plant, not a foot high, with 
small white flowers, with a salver-shaped corolla, short tube, and 
flat border ; sometimes called scorpion grass, from its stem of 
flowers bending over in the form of a scorpion's tail ; sandy 
fields ; June. 

M. palustris. Ph. Water Mouse-Ear. Grows along ditches 
and banks of streams, with scattered, lanceolate, broad leaves, 
sessile and smooth ; racemes of flowers rolled backwards at the 
end ; June to October. Seems to be indigenous ; near Boston. 

M. Virginiana. L. Field Mouse-Ear. This is the Rochelia 
of some authors ; a troublesome weed in fields, among wheat, &c. ; 
with an erect, hairy, branched stem, and large, lanceolate, rough- 
ish, hairy leaves ; July. 


ORDER 226. HYDROPHYLLEiE. The Water-leaf 


Calyx inferior, 5 or 10-divided, with a 1-petalled, 5-lobed, 
usually regular corolla, and 5 stamens ; ovary superior, 1-celled, 
and bifid stigma on the single style ; fruit in a capsule ; leaves 
opposite or alternate ; roughish. 

Hydrophyllum. L. 5. 1. Water-leaf. 
From the Greek for water and leaf, because the cavity of the 
leaf often holds a drop of water in the spring ; a North American 
genus of only two species ; abounds over the hills and valleys of 
Berkshire County, often along dry hedges and borders of woods ; 
of no known use ; rather showy. 

H. Virginicum. L. Stem about a foot high, nearly smooth, 
with pinnate and pinnatifid leaves ; clusters of white and blue 
flowers ; woods ; June. 

H. Canadense. L. Stem about a foot high, hairy, with large, 
broad, 5 or 7-lobed leaves, cordate at the base ; flowers clustered, 
and colored like the other ; woods and hedges ; June. 


(Or having naked seeds.) 

All the genera belong to the Trees and Shrubs ; the species 
are not herbaceous. 


Sub-class II. ENDOGEjXM. Monocotyledones. 

These plants are generally to be distinguished by their leaves. 
They are naturally divided into two tribes ; 

PETALoiDEiE, from their petals forming a whorled assemblage, 
as in the preceding plants of polypetaloidal corolla, or else 
achlamydeous ; and 

GLUMACEiE, having imbricated floral organs. 


ORDER 229. ALISMACE.E. Water-Plantain Tribe. 

Sepals, or leaves of the calyx, 3, and petals also 3 ; stamens 
various in number ; ovaries several, superior and 1 -celled, having 
each its style ; fruit dry, not opening ; leaves with parallel veins ; 
more or less floating plants. 

The herbage is commonly acrid, but the roots of some species 
are eatable. The plants of this order are not very numerous, 
and grow chiefly in northerly regions. 

Alisma. L. 6. 12. 
Named from the Celtic for water, as the plants grow in water or 
wet places ; 10 known species ; 1 in this State. 

Ji. plantago. L. Water Plantain. Stem 2 feet high, branch- 
ing, with broad nerved leaves, like the common Plantain, and 
hence its name in English as well as in Botany ; petals white ; 
July. The panicle is pyramidal with whorled branches ; root 
bulbous with numerous radicles or fibres. It has been greatly 
commended as a sure relief from hydrophobia. Indigenous also 
over much of Europe. 


Sagittaria. L. 19. 12. 

So called from the arrow-shaped leaves of many species. In 
this country the plants are not employed for any useful purpose. 
In China, one species is " cultivated for food." Lind. About 
a dozen species have been described, most of which are found in 
this country, and 4 are pretty common in this State. Leaves 
nearly radical, stand erect, and nearly equal to the length of the 
scape or naked culm. Aquatics. 

Floral envelopes 6-parted, 3 outer, calyx-like, and persistent ; 
3 inner, colored, petal-like ; stamens and pistils in separate flow- 
ers ; capsules compressed, 1-seeded. 

8. sagittifolia. L. Arrow-head. Stem or scape often 2 
feet high, with the lobes of the sagittate leaves long, straight, 
acute, lanceolate ; flowers white, whorled in threes ; July. Com- 
mon also in Europe. 

The leaves are very variable ; sometimes so wide as to give the 
name broad-leafed to the variety ; sometimes with rather hastate 
leaves, for another variety ; sometimes very slender-leafed, form- 
ing a slender and delicate variety ; and one variety has leaves so 
obtuse, as to be often called S. obtusa, as a distinct species, though 
the change from the narrow and acute leaves can be often traced 
to the broad and obtuse within the distance of a few rods where 
the plants abound. 

&. heterophylla. Ph. A more slender plant, with leaves linear 
and lanceolate, or sagittate and narrow-lobed ; few-flowered ; 
ditches and ponds ; July. A foot or more high. 

S. acutifolia. Ph. Acute-leafed Arrow-head. Stem or 
scape 6 inches high, with subulate, acute leaves, convex on the 
back, and sheathing at the base ; few-flowered ; flowers on pedi- 
cles ; muddy places ; July. 

It is probable that some other species, as they are commonly 
considered, are confounded with the preceding. 


ORDER 231. HYDROCHARIDE^E. Frog-bit Tribe. 

Sepals 3 ; petals 3 ; ovary single and inferior, 1-celled or many ; 
fruit not opening by valves ; flowers spathe-like, monoclinous or 
diclinous ; plants floating, or submerged ; leaves with parallel 

The plants of this order are spread widely over the world, 
though only a few are found in New England ; Hydrocharis, from 
which the order is named, is unknown here. 

Udora. Nuttall. 19. 9. 
Has 9 stamens, 3 interior ; tube of the perianth long ; capsule 
bladder-like ; about 3-seeded. 

U. Canadensis. Nutt. Ditch Moss. In waters, submerged, 
and stem much-divided, with whorled leaves, and small white ax- 
illary flowers ; August. This is Serpicula verticiUata, Muhl. 

Vallisneria. L. 20. 2. 
Has an ovate, 2-parted spathe, and a spadix of minute flowers ; 
perianth 3-parted ; stamens 2 ; scape long and spiral ; stigmas 3, 
sessile ; capsule long, cylindrical, 1-celled, and many-seeded. 
Still waters. 

V. spiralis. L. Tape Grass. The sterile or staminate 
flowers grow on short scapes at the bottom of the water ; the fer- 
tile or pistillate flowers are on a long spiral stem or scape rising 
to the surface ; leaves very long, linear, obtuse, 3-nerved, radical, 
about 3 lines broad. 

This was considered by Michaux a distinct plant from that of 
Europe, and named by him V. Americana ; it seems to be a mere 
variety, and is thus named by Nuttall, Torrey, &c. 

This plant exhibits a beautiful provision for the fecundation of 
the embryo seed. The spiral stem untwists so as to keep the 
pistillate flower at the surface, and exposed to light, and heat, and 
air ; and, when the flower is in its perfect state, the staminate 
flowers, by a natural process, break away from the root at the 

XYRIDEiE. 191 

bottom of the water, and rising to the surface float about so that 
the pollen is thrown upon the stigma of the fruit-bearing flower. 
After this process, the seed is matured under the water. The 
ease and rapidity with which the spiral stem unwinds and extends 
itself, has been often remarked in the rapid rise of the waters of 
the River Rhone, being some " feet in a few hours," and yet the 
flower preserved its position at the surface. Darwin. 

ORDER 232. COMMELINEiE. Spider-Wort Tribe. 

Sepals 3, leaf-like ; petals 3, colored, sometimes cohering at 
the base ; stamens 6 or less, inferior ; ovarium 3-celled ; style 1 ; 
capsule 2 or 3-celled, and 2 or 3-valved ; leaves commonly 
sheathing at the base. 

The genus Commelina, which gives name to the order, seems 
not to be found in New England, though it is common in the ad- 
joining State of New York. 

Tradescantia. L. 6. 1. Spider Wort. 

In honor of J. Tradescant, gardener to Charles the First. A 
few species are cultivated, though none are very beautiful ; spe- 
cies belong chiefly to tropical America and India. 

T. Virginica. L. Introduced from the Middle States, is 
found in our gardens ; rather handsome. The flowers contain 
fine jointed hairs. 


Sepals 3, glume, or chaff-like ; corolla 3-petalled, and the fertile 
stamens standing on the claws of the petals, while the sterile sta- 
mens alternate with the petals ; ovary single, capsule 1 -celled, 
3-valved, many-seeded ; flowers in naked and terminal heads ; 
leaves radical and ensiform. Grow chiefly within the tropics ; a 
few in the United States. 


Xyris. L. 3. 1. 

Valves of the calyx unequal ; petals equal ; flowers in an ovate 
cylindric head. 

Named from the Greek for acute, as the leaf ends in a sharp 
point ; rush-like plants with yellow flowers. 

X. Caroliniana. Lam. Yellow-eyed Grass. Stem a foot or 
more high, somewhat twisted ; leaves linear, grass-like ; scape 
2-edged ; flowers yellow, in a small, dense head ; wet meadows ; 
July. Plant widely spread over this country ; of little use. 


Perianth petaloid or petal-like, commonly 6-parted, superior, 
regular ; stamens 6, inserted into the base of the segments ; ovary 
inferior, 3-celled ; style single ; capsule not opening by valves ; 
stemless, or nearly stemless, with plaited leaves, and white or 
yellow flowers. Properties not ascertained. 

Hypoxis. L. 6. 1. 

Has a 2-valved spathe, and an elongated capsule, narrowed 
base, and many roundish, naked seeds. 

Named from the Greek for beneath and sharp, as this is the ter- 
mination of the lower sepals. Loudon. The genus seems to be 
of little consequence, though it has more than a dozen species, 
chiefly belonging to the Cape of Good Hope ; 3 are natives of 
the United States, and 1 of this Commonwealth. 

II. erecta. L. Star Grass. Erect, hairy, with a stem or 
scape about 6 inches high, and narrow, long leaves, linear and 
grass-like ; root bulbous ; woods ; June. 

Note. The place of the plants of this order seems not to be 
very obvious, as they have been united with the Asphodeleae by 
some botanists, and associated by others with Bromeliaceae, of 
which the Pine Apple is the most prominent and very different. 
Their affinities are much nearer those of the Hypoxideae, and 
Iridesc, with which others have connected them. 


ORDER 233. AMARYLLIDE.E. Narcissus Tribe. 

Flowers from a spathe ; corolla superior, G-cleft ; stamens 6, 
inserted on the corolla ; ovary 3-celled ; roots bulbous or fibrous ; 
leaves sword-shaped, with parallel veins. Exotics, found in our 

Amaryllis. L. 6. 1. 

A genus of splendid plants, indigenous chiefly to the warmer parts 
of America and Southern Africa ; nearly 40 species have been 
cultivated in England ; only I species is found so far north as 
the State of Pennsylvania, A. atamasco, L., or Atamasco Lily, 
and not often cultivated in our gardens. 

Corolla irregular ; stamens unequal. 

The name is that of a celebrated nymph, on account of its 
beauty, from the Greek, to be resplendent. 

A. formosissima. L. Jacobea Lily. A splendid plant from 
tropical North America, sometimes found in gardens, with a rin- 
gent-like corolla, and the divisions declined ; one flower from a 
spathe, white and red. 

After flowering, the bulbous roots of this and similar plants 
should be preserved nearly dry, as they will flower the more 
abundantly another season. 

Narcissus. L. 6. 1. Narcissus. 

Named from the Greek for stupor, from the dangerous effects 
of the odor on the nerves. Loudon. An extensive and beautiful 
genus, found abundantly in Southern Europe and the adjacent 

JV. poeticus. L. Poet's Narcissus. Flowers white, cup 

JV". jonquilla. L. Jonquil. From the Latin for rush ; spathe 
1 - 3-flowered, divisions reflexed. 


N. tazetta. L. From the Italian for cup, from the cup-form 
appendage of the corolla, and in English, Polyanthus, on account 
of its numerous flowers ; beautiful. 

N. pseudo-narcissus. L. Daffodil, or double-flowered, has a 
bell-form cup erect and crisped ; spathe 1 -flowered. 

Galanthus. L. 6. 1. 

As the flower has a snow-white color, the genus is from the 
Greek for milk and flower. 

G. nivalis. L. Snow-drop. A beautiful early flower, with 
smooth leaves ; introduced from the meadows of Britain. No 
varieties or hybrids- have been produced from it. Loudon. 

ORDER 239. IRIDEiE. Corn-flag Tribe. 

Floral envelope 6-parted, or 6-petalled, in 2 rows, 3 often very 
short ; stamens 3, on the base of the corolla ; ovary inferior, 
3-celled, many-seeded ; style 1, and stigmas 3, often petal-like ; 
leaves, except of Crocus, equitant, 2-ranked ; flowers covered by 
a spathe or spathe-like bract, beautiful and fugitive. Properties 
of very little consequence ; root of some, cathartic. 

Iris. L. 3. 1. Iris or Corn-flag. 

From their beautiful flowers, named after Iris, the rainbow, or, 
in Egyptian, the eye of heaven. Loudon. A numerous genus, 
and very beautiful ; abundant in Europe and Africa ; about 10 
species in North America, and 2 of them in this State. Petals 
alternately reflected. 

/. versicolor. L. Blue or Poison Flag. Common on wet 
grounds, and about sluggish waters, or stagnant pools ; root cathar- 
tic ; fine sword-form leaves. 

/. Virginica. L. A less common plant, in similar situations ; 
near Boston, it is slender and more delicate, was called /. gracilis. 

IRIDE.E. l ( j;> 

/. plicata. L. Flower de Luce. A tall and splendid plant 
of gardens ; odor of flowers pleasant. 

/. pumila. L. Dwarf Iris. A small species from Hungary, 
often set for the edging of walks ; very beautiful early in the spring. 

/. ochroleuca. L. Yellow Iris. A beautiful species with 
yellowish flowers, from the East. 

/. Chinensis. L. Stripid Iris, from China. Another fine 

It is rather singular, that of the 70 species of this genus, no 
more have come into cultivation for their beauty. 

Gladiolus. L. 3. 1. Corn-flag. 

Named from its sword-like leaves ; a genus of 80 species, of 
which only 1 or 2 seem to have found their way into our gardens, 
or as pot-flowers. 

G. communis. L. Corn-flag. A beautiful species, with fine 
leaves and splendid flowers ; indigenous to the South of Europe. 


Chiefly an American genus ; 3 species belong to the United 
States ; one is common over the country. Spathe 2-leafed, 
corolla flat, equal. 

&. anceps. L. Blue-eyed Grass. A beautiful, grass-like 
plant, with two-edged stem, and flat leaves, growing over pastures 
and upland meadows, with a few fine blue flowers. It would be a 
beautiful plant in gardens, and would grow probably without diffi- 
culty. A foot high or less ; July. 

Crocus. L. 3. 1. 

Spathe radical, and corolla funnel- form with a long slender 
tube ; a beautiful genus of plants. 

C. sativus. L. Saffron. Sometimes named C. officinalis, L., 


from its various uses in medicine, the arts, domestic economy, in 
painting, dying, cookery, and as a medicine ; it is the true saffron ; 
has much less reputation than formerly ; found rarely in our gar- 
dens ; came from the East into England. Flowers yellow and 
violet ; leaves linear and revolute on their margins ; stigmas very 
long and exsert. 

The plants of this genus, as well as Colchicum, have their 
germ or ovary under ground in the time of flowering ; after the 
maturity of the flower, the stalk rises, bearing the germ and rudi- 
ments of seed into the air, to be ripened. A beautiful con- 

ORDER 240. ORCHIDE^. Orchis Tribe. 

Floral envelope 3-parted, 3 outer segments or sepals, usually 
colored, and the odd one often uppermost from the twisting of the 
ovary ; 3 inner segments or petals ringent, and the odd one or 
lip often lobed and spurred at the base ; stamens 3, united in a 
central column, the 2 lateral ones usually abortive, and the middle 
one perfect, or, as in Cypripedium, the two lateral perfect, and 
the central abortive ; pollen either powdery or cohering in waxy 
masses ; ovary inferior, 1 -celled ; style forming a part of the 
column of stamens ; stigma a viscid opening in front of the col- 
umn ; capsule 3-valved, 3-ribbed, rarely of a berry-form ; seeds 
numerous ; roots fibrous or tuberous ; leaves simple, entire. 

This is a large family, containing many beautiful plants, and 
their flowers exquisitely delicate, and so curious in form as to re- 
semble in some measure a great variety of insects, animals, and 
other objects. The species, supposed by Lindley to be 1500, 
are spread over all parts of the world, except cold and dry situa- 
tions. Fourteen genera, as they are now divided, are found in this 
Commonwealth ; for few plants have suffered such divisions and 
changes at the hands of botanists, as these, and few plants have 
wrought such changes in the opinions of botanists. Except 
beauty, this order has very little to commend it, as very few of 
the species have been found to possess any useful properties. 
The order has attracted all the admirers of flowers, and received 
its illustration at the hands of the most distinguished naturalists. 


Orchis. L. 18. 1. Orchis. 
Lip of the corolla with a spur on the under side at the base. 
Its name is the Greek name of the genus without alteration ; it 
embraced many species, but most of them have been placed 
under the next genus. 

O. spectabilis. L. Showy Orchis. Stem 6 or 8 inches 
high, angular, with about 2 large and radical leaves ; flowers large, 
purple, and white, with a lip obovate and undivided, crenate ; 
spur club-like, shorter than the ovary ; few-flowered ; shaded 
woods ; June. 

Its short stem, large, oval, smooth, green leaves, splendid 
flowers of delicate texture and elegant hue, and its fascicled roots, 
call forth the admiration of children as they gather the plant. 

O. tridentata. Willd. A small, erect, and leafy plant, bear- 
ing its small flowers somewhat in the form of a trident, so as to 
remind one at once of its shape. In wet upland meadows, by 
rivulets, on a sandy bottom in Berkshire County ; also near New 
Bedford ; relatively rare ; usually placed in the following genus. 

Habenaria. Willd. 18. 1. Orchis. 

Lip spurred on the upper side at the base beneath ; corolla 
ringent, as in the preceding. 

Named from the Latin for thong or rein, on account of the 
form and shape of the long spur. Many species belong to North 
America ; 12 are credited to this State. 

H. fimbriata. R. Br. Fringed Orchis, because of the nu- 
merous fringed segments of the lip, or lower petal ; is an elegant 
plant, a foot or more high, with broad-lanceolate leaves, bearing 
a spike of rather dense purple flowers, everywhere arresting 
the attention by its beauty ; wet meadows ; July. This, accord- 
ing to Gray, should be i/. Psycodcs. Am. Journ. Sc, xxxviii. 

H. grandiflora. Torr. Large Flowering Orchis. This spe- 


cies was first described by Dr. Bigelow, under the name of Or- 
chis grandiflora, and is a more splendid plant than the preceding ; 
perhaps the largest of the Orchis tribe, and having the most showy 
flowers. Stem 2 feet high or more, thick, angular, hollow ; leaves 
below oblong-oval, obtuse ; upper leaves lanceolate, acuminate ; 
spike often 5 inches long, and 3 in diameter, many-flowered ; 
flowers large, pale-purple, with the 3 petals fringed ; Lancaster, 
Deerfield, &c. A variety (/?) of the preceding. Gray, ubi 

H. orbiculata. Round-leafed Orchis, is the Orchis orbiculata, 
Ph., distinguished by its two radical, large, roundish, nerved 
leaves ; woods ; July. Platanthera orbiculata. Lind. 

H. dilatata, is the Orchis dilatata. Ph. A large, tall, leafy 
plant, with unattractive flowers, in wet situations about the rivu- 
lets of hills in Berkshire County, often 2-3 feet high, flowers 
greenish-white ; July. Platanthera dilatata. Lind. 

H. bracteata. R. Br. Grows about a foot high, leafy, with 
green flowers in a loose spike, spur obtuse and very short, bracts 
spreading ; woods ; July. 

Interesting as the other species (H. blephari glottis, Hooker, 
cristata, R. Brown, ciliaris, R. Brown, herbiola, R. Brown 
(0. flava, L.), macrophylla, Goldie. psycodes. H. incisa, 
Sprengel, is H. psycodes) are to the botanist, they scarcely re- 
quire full description in this place. 

Note. The roots of some species contain a large quantity of 
farinaceous matter. The nutritious preparation, Salep, derived 
from the Arabic name of Orchis, is made in Turkey from the 
roots of these plants. It has been formed too in England from 
the roots of 0. mascula and others, and might, probably, if need- 
ed, be procured from the species of Orchis and Habenaria in this 
country. The roots are washed white, dried, and ground to 
powder, which is the white nutritious Salep. Loudon. 


Aplectrum. Nutt. 18. 1. 
A. hyemale. Nutt. Adam and Eve. A singular plant with 
a single leaf sheathed, and bearing a few flowers towards the sum- 
mit. The form of the flower originates the popular name. In 
shady, wet woods in the valleys of Berkshire County ; flowers in 

Arethusa. L. 18. 1. 

A. bulbosa. L. Bulbous Arethusa. The 5 divisions of the 
floral envelope are united at the base, and the lip is attached to 
the base of the column. This species is 6-10 inches high, with 
a sheathed stem, and 1, rarely 2, large purple flowers at the sum- 
mit ; lip curled and crenate ; root bulbous ; swamps ; May. 

Triphora. Nutt. 18. 1. 

T. pendula. Nutt. Taken from the preceding, and has the 
5 segments distinct, equal, and approaching ; often grows in clus- 
ters, 4 inches high, w T ith 6 or 7 short, clasping leaves ; flowers 3 
or 4, pale-purple ; root tuberous ; at roots of trees ; September. 

Pogonia. Brown. 18. 1. 

From the Greek for beard, on account of its fringed lip ; a 
North American genus of few, but handsome species. 

P. ophioglossoides. R. Br. Snake-mouthed Arethusa, from 
which genus it was taken ; stem nearly a foot high, with a single 
flow T er, nodding and pale-purple, and one oval-lanceolate leaf, and 
a leafy bract near the flower ; lip fimbriate ; swamps ; July. The 
flower resembles a snake's head, whence its specific name. 

P. verticillata. Nutt. Whorled Arethusa. Stem about a 
foot high, with 5 whorled, oblong-lanceolate leaves, near the 
solitary and terminal flower, of which the 3 outer segments are 
long and linear ; swamps ; June. 

Calopogon. Brown. 18. 1. 
Named from the Greek for beautiful beard, as the lip is beauti- 


fully fringed as if finely bearded ; a North American genus of one 
species, taken from Cymbidium ; petals 5, distinct, lip behind or 
inverted, unguiculate. 

C. pulchellus. R. Br. Grass Pink. An elegant plant, with 
grass-like leaves, and fine pink flowers at the summit, on a stem a 
foot high ; leaf usually single, 8 inches long, sheathing at the base ; 
flourishes in wet, marshy situations, and has an elegant appearance ; 
June. Some of its bulbous roots were accidentally carried to 
England, and the plant propagated from them. 

CORALLORHIZA. R. Br. 18. 1. 

From the resemblance of the root to coral ; lip produced 

C. odontorrhiza. Nutt. Coral-toothed Root. A small, yel- 
lowish plant, 8-12 inches high, with small purplish flowers, and 
lip dilated and finely spotted ; stem leafless, sheathed ; woods ; 


Listera. Br. 

L. cordata. R. Br. Has a 2-lobed lip, sessile ; stem about 6 
inches high, with 2 opposite, roundish leaves, veined and smooth, 
and with small, distant, green and purple flowers, irregular ; 
swamps ; May ; often called Tway-blade ; named in honor of 
Dr. Lister. Indigenous also to England. 

Neottia. Sw. 18. 1. 

As the fibres of the roots are singularly interwoven, the genus 
has been named from the Greek for bird's nest ; a few species 
whose spiked flowers stand like a spiral or screw, are hence 
named by Richard, Spiranthes. 

JV\ tortilis. Sw. Ladies' Tresses. Has finely twisted flowers, 
white and ringent, on a stem a foot high, and leafy towards the 
base ; cold, wet meadows and pastures ; June. 

JV*. cernua. Sw. Nodding Tresses. Flowers greenish-white, 

ORCHIDE^. 201 

on a scape of very variable height, often no more than 4-8 inches, 
naked or partially leafy ; spike dense and nodding ; wet grounds ; 

Goodyera. R. Brown. 18. 1. 
So called after J. Goodyer, an English botanist ; lateral seg- 
ments of corolla below the lip, which is gibbous at the base ; 
taken from Neottia. 

G. pubescens. R. Br. Rattlesnake Violet, or Plantain. Stem 
a foot high, with small, scattered hairs, terminated by many small, 
white flowers, on an oblong spike, twisting ; radical leaves green- 
ish and veined with white, of very elegant appearance ; woods ; 
August. This plant has had great reputation among root and In- 
dian doctors, as a remedy for scrophulous affections. In the only 
case I ever knew it applied, no perceptible effect followed. 

G. repens. R. Br. A smaller plant, with netted radical leaves ; 
scape sheathed, and flowers pubescent ; woods ; July. Flowers 

Malaxis. Sw. 18. 1. 

From the Greek for softness, on account of the delicate texture 
of some species ; a genus of few species ; floral envelope spread- 
ing, lip flat and entire ; column of stamens winged. 

M. liliifolia. Sw. Twayblade. Flowers in a slight raceme, 
on an angular scape, with 2 ovate-oblong leaves near the root ; 
slender and humble plant ; wet woods ; June. Flowers yellowish- 

M. Lceselii. Sw. This plant is probably M. correana, Bart. ; 
leaves 2 opposite, radical ; scape 6 inches high, angular ; flowers 
yellowish-green, in a terminal spike ; wet woods ; July. 

Microstylis. Nutt. 18. 1. 

Named from its small style ; a genus of few species ; lip sessile 
and cordate, erect and 2-toothed ; column minute. ^^xaAUA^, 



M. ophioglossoides. Nutt. Adder-mouth. Stem or scape 
about 4 inches high, 1 -leafed, and a leafy sheath at the base ; 
flowers many, minute, greenish-white ; leaf ovate, embracing the 
stem ; root bulbous ; roots of trees ; June. 

Cypripedium. L. 18. 2. Ladies' Slipper, or Venus's Shoe. 
From the Greek for Venus and slipper, on account of the form 
of the lip ; a genus of 10 species, 5 in North America, and 3 in 
this State. Lip ventricose, inflated, obtuse ; 2 under segments 
of the floral envelope united ; column terminating in a triangular 
lobe. In the other genera, the 2 lateral anthers are sterile, and 
the middle one fertile, while in this the 2 outer anthers are fertile, 
and the middle one sterile and enlarged. Beautiful plants, with 
singular, attractive flowers. 

C. spectabile. Sw. Showy Ladies' Slipper. Abundant in 
woods, wet, or somewhat dry, with a stem near 20 inches high, 
leafy, bearing sometimes 2, usually 1, purple and whitish-purple 
flower of variegated hues ; lip large and fine ; May and June. 

C. pubescens. Sw. Yellow Ladies' Slipper. Stem leafy, 
1-2 feet high, flowers yellow and slightly greenish ; leaves and 
stem pubescent ; lip compressed, shorter than the petals ; woods ; 

C. humile. Sw. Low Ladies' Slipper. Leaves radical, 2, 
oblong, obtuse ; scape a foot high or less, with one large, variegated 
flower ; lip purple, shorter than the segments, cleft before ; shaded 
woods ; May. C. acaule. Ait. 

ORDER 244. JUNCEiE. Rush Tribe. 

This order contains the plants intermediate between the petal- 
oideous and the glumaceous, being like the former in their floral 
envelope, and like the latter in their texture. The plants are 
spread widely over the world, and most abound in colder regions, 
or colder soils. 

Calyx or corolla 6-parted, glume-like, or chaffy ; stamens 6 or 

JUNCEiE. 203 

3 ; ovary superior, 1 - 3-celled ; style 1, fruit capsular, 3-valved ; 
roots fibrous or fascicled ; leaves hollow, or flat and channelled. 

, Juncus. L. 6. 1. 

Valves of the capsule bearing the partitions in the middle, to 
which the seeds are attached. 

Named from the Latin to join, as the first ropes are supposed 
to have been formed of rushes. More than 70 species have been 
described ; about 20 belong to North America, and one half of 
these are found in this Commonwealth. 

/. effusus. L. Bull Rush. Grows in dense bunches in wet, 
marshy situations, with a stem simple, smooth, leafless, full of a 
white, spongy pith, and bearing flowers on the side, and towards 
the top of the stem, in a large panicle. 

Used in the manufacture of mats and baskets ; the pith is some- 
times used for the wick of candles, rush-lights ; may be twisted 
into ropes of considerable strength. 

J. tenuis. L. A slender rush, along roads and in wet pas- 

J. bufonius. L. Frog Rush. A low plant densely growing 
in wet places, forming almost a turf; stem, with a dichotomous 
panicle, 3-6 inches high. 

J. nodosus. L. Knotted Rush. Often cut with the coarse 
grasses for hay ; culm a foot or more high, slender, erect, with a 
few leaves often longer than the stem, with knots or joints ; 
flowers usually in 2 globose heads, having a fine appearance ; wet 
meadows ; July. 

J. militaris. Big. Bayonet Rush. Discovered in Tewks- 
bury Pond, by Mr. Greene ; culm 2 or 3 feet high, with a leaf 
originating below the middle, and yet projecting beyond and joint- 
ed ; flowers at the summit in a panicle. 

J. setaceous. L. A small, slender, erect rush, growing in 
swamps, 2 feet high ; July. 


L. bulbosus. L. Black Rush. Has a deep-green color, and 
dark-colored spikes ; about salt marshes, and " makes good hay." 
Big. Stem erect, leafy, and in tufts ; August. 

J. polycephalus. Mx. Many-headed Rush. Allied to J. 
nodosus ; often grows with it ; has many heads of flowers in a 
compound panicle ; often 2 feet high, and made into coarse hay ; 

J. acuminatum. Mx. Grows about 20 inches high ; common 
in bogs ; a coarse grass, leafy ; flowers in a compound pani- 
cle ; leaves few, shorter than the stem, with knot-like joints ; 

J. marginatus. Rostk. Not a common plant, like the pre- 
ceding ; grows in low grounds ; stem compressed, 2 or 3 feet 
high, with flat, smooth leaves ; August. 

Two or three other species grow on the White Mountains of 
New Hampshire, in subalpine districts. These, with the pre- 
ceding, are the greater part of those found in this country. Gen- 
erally they are not eaten by cattle or horses, even in their young 
state, and are little better than weeds. 

Luzula. DC. 

De Candolle formed this genus of plants from the flat-leafed 
rushes, which had been ranked with the Junci, and in the genus 

Valves of the capsule without partitions ; 1 seed affixed to the 
bottom of each cell. 

L. pilosa. Willd. Hairy Rush. From 6-12 inches high, 
with numerous, radical, hairy leaves ; flowers in cymed panicles ; 
woods ; April. 

L. campeslris. DC. Common Hairy Rush. About the 
height of the preceding, cespitose at the base, flowers in terminal 
panicles, somewhat umbel-like ; leaves hairy ; meadows ; April. 


L. melanocarpa. Desv. Black-fruited Rush. Has a black 
capsule, a leafy culm, about a foot high, a lax capillary panicle of 
flowers, and leaves linear-lanceolate and smooth ; woods. 

ORDER 245. MELANTHACEiE. Colchicum Tribe. 

Floral envelope inferior, petal-like, 6 divisions, but sometimes 
united into a tube at the base ; stamens 6 ; ovary superior, with a 
3-parted style ; roots fibrous, sometimes fascicled ; leaves sheath- 
ing, with parallel veins. The plants are pretty widely diffused, 
all poisonous, and some deadly poisons. 

Most of the species of Melanthium, from which the order takes 
its name, belong to the Cape of Good Hope, and no one of the 
4 species found in this country seems to be found in New Eng- 

Helonias. L. 6. 3. 

From the Greek for marsh, because some of the species de- 
light in wet places ; a North American genus of few species ; 8 
have been introduced into England, and only 1 seems to occur in 
x^ew England. Corolla 6-parted, spreading ; capsule 3-horned. 

H. dioica. Ph. Blazing Star. Devil's Bit. Unicorn's 
Horn. About 2 feet high, leafy, terminating in a long raceme of 
small, whitish, dioecious flowers, somewhat angular culm, with 
small leaves above, and wider and longer leaves below ; wet situa- 
tions on hills, Stockbridge, Berkshire County. Is the Veratrum 
luteum, L. ; root premorse or bitten off at one end apparently, 
and very bitter. Nuttall. 

Veratrum. L. 6. 3. 

Said to be named from the Latin, truly black, the color of the 
root ; species mostly American ; only 1 in this State. 

V. viride. Ait. Indian Poke. Itch-weed. Swamp Helle- 
bore. Grows in moist meadows, and open woods, 2-4 feet 
high, large and strong stem, large and broad leaves, large panicle 
of greenish flowers ; a poisonous plant, emetic. The root con- 


tains a peculiar vegetable alkali, called veratrin, which is the 
source of its dangerous properties. The pulverized root, when 
snuffed into the nose, produces violent and long continued sneez- 
ing, and should be avoided, as it endangers the vessels of the 
head. Boys sometimes make dangerous experiments with it. 

The root of Colchicum autumnale, L., so distinguished since 
the days of Hippocrates, as a medicine, contains the same alkali, 
veratrin, which probably gives its diuretic, cathartic, and narcotic 
properties. I have not known of its cultivation in this State ; 
indigenous to Europe. 


Flower or perianth tubular, 6-parted, inferior, colored, irregu- 
lar ; stamens 3 or 6, unequal, standing about the style ; ovary 
1 - 3-celled, 3-valved ; leaves sheathing at the base, with parallel 
veins ; flowers from a spathe, often blue ; aquatic plants, showy 
from their deep-green leaves and fine flowers, but not of any use. 
Not found native in Europe. 

PoNTEDERIA. L. 6. 1. 

Named in honor of Professor Pontedera of Padua, more than 
a century ago ; a genus of few species, 3 in this country, and 1 
in this State. Perianth 2-lipped, 3 stamens on its lip, and 3 on 
the tube ; seeds in a utricle or bladder-like capsule. 

P. cordata. L. Pickerel Weed. Stem 1 or 2 feet high, 
thick, large, with oblong-cordate leaves rising from the lower 
part ; flowers in a long, dense spike, collected into twos or threes, 
sessile, bright-blue. 

In Berkshire County, Pickerel Weed has abounded on the 
waters of the Housatonic River, but Pickerel fish were not found 
in the streams till they were brought from the waters of Con- 
necticut River and put into the ponds. 

P. angusiifolia. Ph. A narrower leafed plant, found in a 
pond in Leverett ; considered by Dr. Torrey only a variety of 
the former species. Another species is found in South Carolina 
and Georgia. 


Schollera. Schreb. 3. 1. 

Spathe 1 -flowered ; tube of the flower very long and slender, 

with the limb deeply 6-parted ; capsule 1 -celled. It is the genus 

Leptanthus of Mx., named from the Greek for slender flower ; 

named Schollera in honor of a German botanist, F. A. Scholler. 

£. graminea. Vahl. Grows in waters, grass-like, slender, 
with a stem 6 - S inches long ; leaves sessile, linear, grassy ; 
spathe 1 or 2-flowered ; flowers bright-yellow ; July. 


One floral envelope, forming the corolla of the Linnaean bot- 
anists, 6-parted or 6-cleft, regular, after bursting forth from a 
spathe or closely-enclosing leafy or membranous covering ; sta- 
mens 6 on the perianth or corolla ; ovary superior, 3-celled ; fruit 
mostly a 3-celled, 3-valved capsule ; leaves with parallel veins. 

The members of this family are widely spread over the world, 
especially in the temperate climes. Many are cultivated for their 
great beauty ; some for use or food. A gummy juice, containing 
a little stimulant in very variable proportions, is common to many 
species, and forms valuable gums, as aloes, gum-dragon, &c. 

Asphodelus. L. 6. 1. 
Named from its unsurpassed beauty. 

A. luteus, L., and A. ramosus, L. King's Spear. Have been 
considered beautiful garden plants ; from the South of Europe ; 
the former has 3-sided leaves, and the latter has sword-form 

Ornithogalum. L. 6. 1. Star of Bethlehem. 

No known reason for its name, from the Greek, for bird and 

O. umbellatum. L. A handsome spring plant of the gar- 
dens, with fine flowers ; from England. Naturalized in some 


O. squilla. L. The well-known medicine, squill, from the 
South of Europe ; little cultivated, but very important, and curious 
from its association with the Star of Bethlehem. 

Hyacinthus. L. 6. 1. 

Hyacinthus was fabled to have been killed by Zephyrus, and 
changed into this flower ; several species have been cultivated for 
their beauty. The species from the Levant. 

H. orientalis. L. Has many beautiful varieties. Like the 
Tulip, this plant has been a great article of trade. The Dutch 
export several hundred varieties. 

Asparagus. L. 6. 1. 
From the Greek to tear, on account of the prickles of some 

Jl. officinalis. L. The well-known Asparagus, so much 
used as a culinary vegetable. It grows along the seashore in 
many parts of Britain, and of the continent, as well as in the in- 
terior of Turkey and Russia, commonly flourishing in a sandy 
soil. It was greatly praised as an article of food before our era. 
Its successful cultivation requires a rich and light soil. The 
manure from the hog-pen on a light and sandy loam, produces it in 
great perfection, early in the season, and for a long time. Salt 
is said to be a favorable stimulant to it, as it is to many plants 
which do not delight in the seashore for habitation. It is diuretic 
and slightly laxative, and healthful to persons of sedentary habits. 
The juice contains a peculiar vegetable substance, called as- 

Aletris. L. 6. 1. 

From the Greek for meal, on account of the mealy dust on the 
plants, or some of them ; a North American genus of few spe- 
cies. Corolla tubulous, 6-cleft at the summit, rugose or wrinkled ; 
style conical ; capsule 3-celled, 3-valved, opening at the summit. 

Jl. farinosa. L. False Aloe. Colic Root. Stem rises 2-3 


feet high, bearing alternate white flowers, with radical and sessile 
leaves, long and smooth ; flowers white, and in a spike ; sandy 
woods ; July. The root is very bitter, and in small quantities 
used as a tonic and stomachic. See Bigelow's " Medical 

Allium. L. 6. 1. 

From the Celtic for hot or burning ; a large genus, as more 
than 60 species have been described, chiefly indigenous to Europe 
and the adjoining countries ; a ^ew belong to the United States, 
and 2 to Massachusetts. 

Corolla 6-parted, spreading ; spathe many-flowered ; umbel 
crowded ; capsule superior, 3-celled, 3-valved. 

A. Canadense. L. Meadow or Wild Onion. Bears bulbs 
like the common onion, with flowers terminating a leafless scape 
nearly 2 feet high, and leaves linear, and nearly radical ; wet 
meadows ; May. 

A. tricoccum. Ait. Wild Leek. Grows in woods, on hills, 
and in valleys, with a round scape a foot high, and oblong, flat, 
and smooth leaves ; June. This is often eaten by cattle in the 
spring, and the milk of cows is made redolent with its strong and 
offensive odor. 

A. cepa. L. Onion. From the Celtic for head, probably 
from its form of flowers ; too important not to be noticed, and 
too well known to need more than a notice ; indigenous to Hun- 
gary. The varieties, which have white, yellow, and red bulbs, 
are common in gardens ; the roots contain free phosphoric 

A. Ascalonicum. L. Shallot. Leaves subulate, a native of 
Palestine, near Ascalon. 

A. sativum. L. Garlic. From Sicily, flat-leafed. 

A. porrum. L. Leek. From the Celtic to eat, with leaves 



sheathing towards the base, much used for culinary preparations ; 
from Switzerland. 

A. schcenoprasum. L. Chives, or Cives. From Britain ; 
grows in handsome tufts. 

A. proliferum. Schr. Tree Onion. Bears its bulbs on the 
stem, and among the flowers, or instead of them ; a native of the 
West Indies ; rarely cultivated. 

Most of those mentioned, are expectorant, stimulant, and di- 


Flowers sometimes dioecious ; perianth petal-like, inferior, 
6-parted, with 6 stamens inserted near its base ; ovary 3-celled, 
and style usually trifid ; fruit a roundish berry ; leaves sometimes 
with net-like veins ; plants sometimes are climbers. 

Widely spread over the world ; half in tropical America. 

Smilax. L. 20. 6. Jacob's Ladder. 

The name is from the Greek for grater, on account of the 
rough stem of some ; about 50 species. 

Perianth 6-leafed, in both the dioecious flowers ; styles minute, 
3, stigmas 3 ; berry 3-celled, superior. 

The 3 species of this genus found in this State, are not abun- 
dant, though often occurring. 

S. rotundifolia. L. Green Briar. A prickly, troublesome 
vine, forming tangled thickets, not without beauty ; about the 
trees and shrubs on which it climbs. Distinguished for its round- 
ish, heart-shaped, 5-nerved leaves, and glossy black berries. 

/S. peduncularis. Muhl. Jacob's Ladder. Unarmed, and 
distinguished by its acuminate, 9-nerved leaves, offensive, green- 
ish flowers, and bluish berries. 

$. herbacea. L. But 2 or 3 feet high, with 1 or 2 branches. 


S. sarsaparilla. L. The well known medicinal plant of this 
name, indigenous to North America ; demulcent and diuretic, and 
used as medicine in many cases. 

Gyromia. Nutt. 6. 3. 

The 6 divisions of the perianth re volute ; stigmas 3, united at 
their base ; berry 3-celled. 

G. Virginica. Nutt. Indian Cucumber. Not the most dis- 
tant resemblance to Cucumber, unless in the slight odor of the 
plant ; a single species, grows a foot high^ with 2 whorls of leaves, 
one close to the flower, and the other at some distance below ; 
open, dry woods ; very regular in its form ; May. The root is 
said to be diuretic. Barton. This is Medeola Virginica, L., 
Cucumber Root. 

Uvularia. L. 6. 1. Bell Wort. 

From the Greek diminutive for a bunch of grapes, from the 
cluster of flowers on some species ; chiefly a North American 
genus. Segments of corolla or perianth with a nectariferous 
cavity at the base ; filaments very short. 

Two rather beautiful species grow in this State. On one, 
U. sessilifolia, L., the leaves are sessile, and on the other, U. per- 
foliata, Mx., the stem appears to run through the leaf; woods ; 
May and June. 

Streptopus. Mx. 6. 1. 

Taken from the preceding genus, and named from the Greek, 
for turn and foot, from the twisted foot-stalk of the flowers ; all 
the species American but one. Anthers longer than the filaments ; 
berry subglobose ; petiole twisted. 

Two species occur in this Commonwealth ; one, S. distortus, 
Mx., much resembles the species of the preceding genus ; the 
other, /S. roseus, Mx., Rose Bell Wort, has a stem often 20 
inches high, branching into 2 parts, and of a fine form, leafy and 
holding many small, rose-colored flowers ; woods and hills ; 


Convallaria. L. 6. 1. Lily of the Valley. Solomon's Seal. 
Named from the common place of growth, from the Latin for 
valley. This genus has been divided into Smilacina, Desf., from 
its resemblance to Smilax, and Polygonatum, Desf., from the 
numerous joints or articulations of the stem ; but we describe all 
the species under Convallaria, 7 of which belong to this State, 
and which comprise half of the genus. They have a general re- 
semblance, but differ greatly in size. Flower 4 - 6-parted, and 
stamens 4 - 6 ; berry 2 or 3-celled. 

C. bifolia. L. Dwarf Solomon's Seal. With a stem 4 - 6 
-8 inches high, and commonly 2, often 3 sessile leaves, and 
terminating in a cluster of small, w T hite, 4-parted flowers, with 4 
stamens ; spreads over the woods on hills and valleys, in May ; 
berry 2-celled. 

C. trifolia. L. Three-leafed Solomon's Seal. Scarcely 
larger than the preceding, with 3 sessile leaves, and white, 6-parted 
flowers, and with 6 stamens, distinguishing them from the preced- 
ing ; is far more rare in the woods, but not less beautiful ; June. 

C. racemosa. L. Clustered Solomon's Seal. With a flexu- 
ous stem, 12-18 inches high, and alternate leaves, sessile and 
oblong-oval, nerved and pubescent ; has very small greenish-white 
flowers in a clustered panicle or raceme ; woods ; June. 

C. stellata. L. Star-form Solomon's Seal. Has a stem a 
foot high, smooth, articulated, with oval-lanceolate and clasping 
leaves ; flowers white, terminal, 3-8, in a beautiful raceme ; 
banks of rivers ; June. 

C. multiflora. L. Common or Giant Solomon's Seal. 
Stem round, 2-6 feet high, with alternate and clasping, oblong- 
oval leaves, and flowers growing in the axils of the leaves, and 
sometimes the foot-stalks many-flowered ; root horizontal, fleshy, 
and often looking as if the ends had been bitten by worms ; in 
some request as a mild, secernent stimulant ; flowers bell-form, 


6-cleft, greenish, large and pendent towards the top of the finely 
arched stem ; hedges and banks of streams ; June. Berries dark- 
blue. The name Solomon's Seal is taken from a cross section 
of the knotted part of the roots, which has been imagined to re- 
semble the seal of that king. 

C. pubescens. W. Much resembles the last, but smaller, with 
clasping ovate leaves, pubescent beneath ; flowers axillary, foot- 
stalks about 2-flowered ; May. 

C. canaliculata. W. Distinguished from the last by its chan- 
nelled and angular stem. 

C. umbellulata. Mx. Lily of the Valley. A beautiful plant, 
with its long and wide, deep-green leaves, ciliate or hairy on the 
edge and keel, supporting a short scape of yellowish flowers, 
often abundant on the sides of hills, and in open woods ; June. 
C. borealis, and Dracaena borealis, Willd., seem to be only va- 
rieties of this species. At least, on the hills of Berkshire County 
we find the plants answering to both descriptions, and yet scarcely 
differing from each other. The C. majalis of Pursh, is probably 
only a variety of the same C. umbellulata, Mx. Let no one sup- 
pose that the Lily of the Valley, mentioned by Solomon, wholly 
unknown, can be this plant, which does not grow in the East. 

Trillium. L. 6. 3. 

From the Latin for a tissue of three threads of different colors, 
as the stem has 3 leaves, the calyx 3 sepals, the corolla 3 petals, 
the stamens are twice 3, and there are 3 styles. A North Amer- 
ican genus of about a dozen species, of fine appearance, but 
rather offensive odor. 

Calyx spreading, with 3 sepals ; berry 3-celled. Four species 
are credited to this State ; grow in woods, but capable of cultiva- 
tion, though not very easily propagated. They are a great addi- 
tion to the beauty of open woods in the season of their flowering. 
Roots highly emetic. 

T. erectum. L. Wake Robin. Very common in the 


woods in May, nearly a foot high, with 3 large broad-rhomboidal 
leaves ; flowers commonly dark-purple, sometimes white, green- 
ish on the outside, standing on a footstalk a little declined, and 
rather nodding. Medicinal. 

T. cernuum. L. Nodding Wake Robin. Has its flower 
hanging on a recurved foot-stalk, with lanceolate and recurved 
white flowers, with a stem a foot or more high ; leaves broad, 
rhomboidal, rather obtuse ; woods ; May. 

T. grandiflorum. Salisb. Large Flowered. Stem near a 
foot high, with large, white, or reddish flowers, having spatulate 
and lanceolate petals, and much longer than the calyx ; leaves 
sessile, broad, rhomboid-ovate ; moist woods ; May ; Pelham. 
It has not been found in Berkshire County, though it abounds in 
the State of New York. 

T. pictum. Ph. Painted or Variegated Wake Robin. 
T. ery thro car pum. Mx. Grows about 8 inches high, and has 
white flowers, with purple veins, the petals being oval-lanceolate, 
acute, and recurved ; woods ; May. A beautiful flower. 

ORDER 250. DIOSCOREiE. The Yam Tribe. 

Dioecious ; perianth 6-cleft, equal ; stamens 6, rising from the 
base of the perianth ; ovary inferior, 3-celled ; style 1, and stigma 
3-parted ; leaves with reticulated veins ; flowers small, in spikes. 

Dioscorea. L. 20. 6. 

Named in honor of Dioscorides, a Greek physician, supposed 
to have lived in the time of Nero ; a very important group of 
plants in this genus, found chiefly in tropical regions. Capsule 
3-celled, triangular, compressed ; seed membranaceous on the 

D. villosa. L. A twining vine, delicate, turning from right 
to left, with alternate or opposite whorled and cordate leaves, 
pubescent beneath, 9-nerved ; rises sometimes 12 feet ; lower 


leaves whorled ; flowers small, in axillary panicles ; woods ; May. 
Vicinity of Boston, Concord Turnpike. Big. 

The Yam, so important an article of food in tropical countries, 
belongs to this genus. 

ORDER 251. LILIACE.E. Lily Tribe. 

Perianth or corolla 6-petalled, regular, sometimes cohering in 
a tube ; stamens 6, under the germ, and style 1, and stigma sim- 
ple ; ovary superior, 3-celled, many-seeded ; fruit dry, capsular, 
3-celled, with flat seeds ; flowers large, often solitary, commonly 
with fine colors ; leaves with parallel veins. 

Abound in the temperate parts of the Northern hemisphere ; dis- 
tinguished for their beauty, but possess few important properties. 

Lilium. L. 6. ]. Lily. 
Perianth bell-form, 6-divided, colored, and each segment has a 
nectariferous line through the middle. About 20 species have 
been described ; named from the Celtic for whiteness, as some of 
the flowers are very white. 

L. Philadelphicum. L. Red Lily. Grows in woods and 
meadows, about 20 inches high, with erect flowers of a deep- 
orange color, spotted with red ; leaves lanceolate, whorled, or 
scattered ; July. 

L. Canadense. L. Yellow Lily. Grows in meadows, 2 
feet high or more, leaves nerved and in whorls, with several nod- 
ding flowers. When the flowers are very many, and arranged in 
a pyramidal form, as they frequently occur, it forms probably the 
L. superbum, L., as suggested by Dr. Beck and others ; it is, 
then, a splendid plant. Both of these species would amply re- 
pay cultivation. 

L. candidum. L. White Lily. From the Levant ; has 
splendid white flowers. 

L. bulbiferum. L. Orange Lily. From Italy, is another 
beautiful plant in gardens. 


L. tigrinum. Hort. Kew. Tiger-spotted Lily. From China, 
where it has long been cultivated ; is the most splendid of the 
genus ; propagated by its roots, and by the globular bulbs which 
are produced in the axils of the leaves. Its beauty has rapidly 
extended it over the country. 

Tulipa. L. 6. 1. Tulip. 
The old French name of the plant is Tulipan, derived un- 
doubtedly from the Persian name of nearly the same sound. Two 
species are cultivated for ornament, T. suaveolens, L., the sweet- 
scented, and T. Gesneriana, L., named after Gesner, a botanist 
of Zurich. The latter has been cultivated to a great extent. 
These species came from Turkey and the Levant into the 
Northern countries of Europe, nearly three centuries ago. Cul- 
tivation has produced a great number of varieties, and these have 
been sold at most extravagant prices. The Tulip mania was at its 
height in England nearly two centuries since. The plants are 
now greatly sought after, and much cultivated. In this country, 
the florists have carried it to considerable extent within a few 
years past. Enormous prices were formerly paid for favorite 
varieties. u Twelve acres of land were covenanted to be given 
by one person, and 4500 florins, besides a new carriage with 
horses and harness, by another, for a single tulip bulb, the flowers 
of which should possess certain almost ideal properties." Encycl. 
While it cannot be doubted that the beauty of nature is formed 
to be admired and enjoyed, it is certain that the cultivation of 
these natural beauties is a privilege and gratification when kept 
within its proper limits. The admiration of flowers has a moral 
influence, as well as being an exercise of taste. 

Erythronium. L. 6. 1. 
Named from the Greek for red, on account of the color of the 
flower and leaves of some of them. 

E. Jlmericanum. Sm. Adder Tongue. Dog-tooth Violet. 
This beautiful single flower stands nodding on a stem about 8 or 
10 inches high, of a fine yellow color, spotted near the base, with 
2 long glossy and spotted leaves at the root of the stem, which 


give the plant the first English name. Grows abundantly in open 
woods, and is one of the early flowers. Michaux supposes this 
plant to be identical with the European, E. dens-cdnis, but Presi- 
dent Smith, of the Linnaean Society, judged otherwise, and gave 
the above name to our plant. Under this name it is described by 
Torrey, Beck, and others. See Bigelow's "Medical Botany." 

Hemerocallis. L. 6. 1. Day Lily. Garden Lily. 

Named from the Greek for day and lily, and often called Gar- 
den Lily, to distinguish it from the Lily of the fields. Though 
the flower resembles that of the Lily, it is far removed from it. 
Two species have been introduced from Asia, H. flava, L., and 
H. fulva L. They have not very delicate flowers ; but their 
tall, erect stem, and conspicuous, yellow and tawny flowers, and 
their long, smooth, sword-like leaves, pointing upwards, have long 
made them favorite plants for borders and walks. 


Named from its many flowers, and, from its tuberous root, 
P. tuberosa, L., is a fine parlour plant, with beautiful flowers, and 
now not very uncommon. The fragrance of this plant is deli- 
cious, and is much more perceptible after sunset. Perianth funnel- 
form, incurved ; stamens 6, inserted in the throat of the perianth. 
A native of Ceylon. 


Perianth inferior, 2-G-parted, rarely absent; stamens 1-6, 
often 2-3, attached to the corolla ; fruit capsular or nut-like; 
culms naked, oftener sheathed ; leaves simple, narrow, or none ; 
flowers aggregated, commonly having the stamens and pistils in 
different plants. Plants belong chiefly in the Southern hemi- 

Eriocaulon. L. Pipe Wort. 

From the Greek for wool and stem, from the woolly stem of 
some of the species. Flowers in a compact, scaly head. 

Of the 2 species in this State, gnaphalioides, Mx., and pellu- 



cidum, Mx., neither is yet of any consequence ; grow in ponds 
flowers distinct. No known use. 

ORDER 255. TYPHACE^E. The Bulrush Tribe. 

Flowers along a naked stem or spadix, the 3-6 stamens in 
one flower, and the pistils in another, surrounded by a 3-parted 
perianth ; ovary superior, 1 -celled, with a short style, and dry 
fruit ; stems without knots or joints ; leaves long, stiff, sword- 
form, with parallel veins ; marshes and ditches, chiefly in North- 
ern countries ; not of great use. 

In this country, this is a small tribe of two genera, which have, 
to the eye of most persons, few common characters to unite 

Typha. L. 19. 3. 

From the Greek, for marsh, its natural habitation ; flowers in 
a long, dense, cylindrical spike. Two species in this State, in- 
digenous also to a great part of the world. 

T. latifolia. L. Cat Tail. Reed Mace. A splendid reed, 
tall, erect, with very long, flat, erect leaves, and a terminal spike of 
insignificant flowers in great abundance. The sterile flowers 
form a dense cylinder 4-6-8 inches long, at the end of the 
stem, while the fertile flowers form an equally dense cylinder 
immediately below. The pollen, which falls in great plenty from 
the upper to the lower cylinder, to fructify the fertile flowers, is 
very combustible, and flashes on the application of a candle. 
The leaves, which are finely shaped, colored, and beautiful, 
are extensively used in the manufacture of flag-bottomed chairs ; 
also by coopers to make close the joints of casks ; for making 
mats, baskets, and for thatching ; and the hairy covering of the 
fruit is sometimes used for beds, or rather, mattresses, a poor sub- 
stitute for hair, moss, husks, &c. 

T. anguslifolia. L. A narrow-leafed plant, leaves channeled, 
fertile spike a little removed from the other. Found in similar 
situations in the vicinity of Boston, but not known in the western 
part of the State. 

AROIDE./E. 219 

Except the Cat Tail, this genus has little value. The first 
species is spread extensively over Europe and Asia ; the second 
is found in England, and also in New Holland. 

Sparganium. L. 19. 3. 

From the Greek, for band, on account of its ribbon-shaped 
leaves ; only a few species. Flowers in a globose head ; se- 
pals 3-6. 

S. ramosum. Sm. Burr Reed. Stem a foot or more high, 
round, rarely straight, with barren flowers towards the top, and 
the fertile below, and both at little distances along the stem ; 
leaves nearly radical, triangular towards the base, and sword-form 
upwards ; fruit in a dense, large, globose, burr-like head, which 
separates it from the other reeds ; July. 

5». angustifolium. Mx. Narrow and long leafed, lightly float- 
ing on the surface of water ; vicinity of Boston. 

S. Americanum. Nutt. Lake Burr Reed. Grows near 
New Bedford, in ponds ; stem nearly simple, much like the first 

None of these species have been employed for any valuable 

ORDER 256. AROIDE.E. Arum, or Wild Turnip, 


Stamens and pistils in separate flowers on a spadix ; perianth 
often wanting, or of 4 or 6 divisions; ovary superior, 1 -celled ; 
fruit succulent or dry ; leaves sheathing at the base ; spadix com- 
monly in a spathe. 

These plants abound in tropical regions ; in temperate regions 
relatively rare. 

A very acrid substance is contained in most of the species, and 
sometimes they are very poisonous. This property is destroyed 
by roasting the roots, and they are then healthful, pleasant, and 
nutrititious ; at least some of them. One species yields one 


kind of Yam, a common article of food in tropical regions. 
Several of the genera are among our native plants. 

Arum. L. 19. 1. 

Spathe 1 -leafed, rolled in at the base, turned over the flower- 
stem or spadix, which is naked at its extremity, while the ovaries 
are at its base, and the stamens above them ; berry 1 -celled. 

Latin form of the Greek name for this plant. The genus be- 
longs chiefly to hot climates ; roots hot, acrid, fleshy, some of 
them eatable ; a singular, and somewhat beautiful genus. 

A. triphyllum. L. Wild or Indian Turnip. Wake Robin, 
of the English. This plant grows in very different situations, in 
the alluvial soil of rivers and in damp upland woods, and some- 
times in rather wet places. It attracts attention from its singular 
form, sending up from its short stem 1 or 2 stalks, each bearing 
3 long and acutish leafets, becoming glaucous or sea-green. Its 
dense mass of insignificant flowers is concealed by a cylindric 
spathe, or inclosing leaf, which terminates in a large, hood-like 
leaf, turned down and over the flowers, and often beautifully 
variegated. A club-like projection extends beyond the flowers, 
as it were to remove the hood at such a distance from the flowers 
as to afford them room and free circulation of air with protection. 
It flowers in May, and in August it shows a dense head of red 
berries. Root fleshy, bulbous, and the dark wrinkled skin on the 
under side of the root is its natural, and not diseased form. The 
acrid quality of this plant is even violent, and extends to all parts of 
it ; by drying, roasting, or boiling, it loses this property to a 
considerable extent. The dried root is in popular use, being 
grated and taken as grateful and warming to the stomach, and 
tending to allay a feverish disposition. Boiled in milk the roots 
are a popular, but not very sure, remedy for consumption. Big- 
elow's " Medical Botany." 

A. atrorubens. L. A smaller, and somewhat fetid plant ; 
probably only a variety of the preceding. 

A. draconlium. L. Green Dragon. Seems not to be a 
native of New England ; cultivated at Deerfield. 

AROIDEiE. 221 

A. Virginicum. L. Rare in the western part of this State ; 
found in Belchertown. This plant has received several names, 
and is very likely to be carried to the genus Caladium, as de- 
scribed by Persoon ; swamps, and borders of ponds ; sending up 
several radical leaves a foot high, so as to have the appearance of 
one species of Sagittaria, Arrowhead ; but from this, Dr. Big- 
elow distinguishes it by easy characters. By Cooper it was 
named Lecontia Virginica. 

Orontium. L. 6. 1. 

Crowded flowers in a cylindric spathe ; perianth 6-petalled, 
naked ; style and stigma scarcely any ; utricle 1 -seeded. 

From the Greek name of an unknown plant ; only one species 
in North America, and one in Japan. 

O. aquaticum. L. Golden Club. Floating Arum. Its 
dense yellow flowers give one English name ; scape or stem long, 
cylindric, rising from ponds or streams, producing flowers of 
offensive odor ; leaves radical, large, lanceolate-ovate ; May. 
" Southwick, Dr. Porter." 

POTHOS. Mx. 4. 1. 

Derived from the native name of the plant in Ceylon ; the 
genus seems generally to be different from the only plant of 
the name in North America. Hence the latter was named Sym- 
plocarpus, Salsb., and has also passed under other names. Spathe 
ventricose, twisted. 

P. fxtida. Mx. Skunk-cabbage. The particular name indicates 
a prominent property of the plant so well known, and common in 
wet, low grounds, as an offensive weed throughout the country. 
Early in March its thick and fleshy roots send up a roundish head 
of small flowers, enclosed in a thick and twisted envelope or 
spathe of a purple color, only a few inches long, and opening by 
a natural seam or suture. In three or four weeks, the leaves ap- 
pear rising on short foot-stalks from the root, and become very 
large, like cabbage leaves, giving, as well as the rest of the plant 
when bruised, the offensive odor. The roots and seeds are 


strongly antispasmodic, also expectorant ; useful in asthmatic 
affections, but unsafe as a medicine. Its acrid quality produces 
very unpleasant sensations in the mouth. Bigelow's " Medical 

Calla. L. 19. 12. 

Spathe flattish ; spadix covered with flowers ; berry many- 
seeded. Pliny named some plant Calla, perhaps of this family, 
probably from its beauty. 

C. palustris. L. Water Arum. A singular and rather 
beautiful plant. Its creeping roots, scarcely passing under the 
surface of the sphagnous swamps in which it delights, send up 
foot-stalks bearing a single mass of white flowers, which are sur- 
rounded in their rudimentary state with a strong envelope or 
spathe of a fine white color, and soft texture on the inside, and 
forming a protection to the young flowers. Roots acrid ; but they 
lose this property by drying or boiling, so that they were used, 
according to Linnaeus, by the Laplanders to form a sort of bread. 
Indigenous also to the northern parts of Europe. 

C. JEthiopica. W. A larger and taller plant, with its glossy 
and shining deep-green leaves, raised with great care in green- 
houses and parlours, will recall the thoughts to the other humble 
native of our country, and of Europe. The exotic is from the 
Cape of Good Hope. 

Acorus. L. 6. 1. 

Supposed to relieve diseases of the eye, and hence its name 
from the Greek. Spadix cylindric, covered with flowers ; peri- 
anth 6-petalled, naked ; ovary 1. 

A. calamus. L. Sweet Flag. The meaning of Calamus is 
a reed, and the name is given to this plant from its resemblance to 
the genus Calamus. Common beside slow streams and in wet 
grounds. Its sword-shaped leaves ; its solitary flower-stem or 
spadix, projecting from a leaf, and aromatic and pleasant to the taste 
when young ; its zigzag roots with their numerous fibres, aromatic 


and stimulant, are well known. The root is often used as a sto- 
machic, and as a remedy for the cholic. The flavor is improved 
by drying. Indigenous to Europe and Asia as well as North 
America. It was said by Linnaeus to be the u only aromatic 
plant of northern climates." 


Stamens and pistils in the same or different flowers ; perianth 
of 2 or 4 divisions, sometimes falls oft' early in the flowering ; 
ovary superior, with the stamens rising from under it ; fruit dry, 
1 -celled, 1 -seeded ; aquatics, with flowers small and unattractive ; 
more resemble flowerless plants than any yet mentioned ; leaves 
very cellular, with parallel veins. The order is named from the 
habitation of the plants. 

Najas. L. 19. 1. Fluvialis, Persoon. 

Perianth wanting ; flowers with stamens, and others with pistils 
on the same plant ; style 1 . 

cA". Canadensis. Mx. Water Nymph. The popular name 
might lead one to expect a plant of some beauty. It is a slender, 
flexible, rather erect, and immersed aquatic, filiform or thread- 
like, not very common ; in stagnant waters ; Amherst, Stock- 
bridge. Caulinia flexilis, W. 

Zostera. L. 19. J. 

Z. marina. L. Grass Wrack. Stern round and flexuous, 
with roots at the joints, and with long linear leaves ; grows in the 
muddy waters of the sea-coast, sometimes called Eel-grass. " A 
common material for packing, and for stuffing cottagers' cushions." 

Chara. L. 19. 1. 

Origin of this name unknown, as well as the plant to which 
Caesar applied it. Loudon. The plants have a rather beau- 
tiful appearance as they wave about under water. 

Perianth none, flowers very minute ; anther sessile and globose, 


near the 5 sessile stigmas ; berry 1 -celled, many-seeded, situated 
on the filiform branches or leaves. 

C. vulgaris. L. Feather-beds. A slender, flexile plant with 
a small stem, surrounded at short distances by a whorl of about 
8 slender, filiform leaves. As it grows immersed in dense ex- 
tensive tufts, it looks like a soft bed of feather-like materials, and 
in running water is a beautifully waving plant. Taken from the 
water, it becomes very brittle, and has a very putrid odor. 

C. flexilis. L. Much resembles the other, is nearly as slen- 
der, but a stiffer plant. In stagnant water with Najas ; Stock- 

Ruppia. L. 4. 4. 

R. maritima. L. Sea Teasel-Grass. Two flowers on a 
spadix, rising from the leaves ; perianth none ; stamens 4-sessile, 
and 4 drupes. 

In salt marshes near Boston ; a grass-like plant with immersed, 
linear leaves ; sends its spike-form flower-stem out of the water 
to present the flowers to the sun ; stem is somewhat spiral, so as 
to unwind as the water rises, and keep the flower in the air. 
Named after a German botanist, Ruppi. 

Potamogeton. L. 4. 4. Pond-weed. 
From the Greek for near and river ; aquatics, common in Eu- 
rope and North America ; perianth 4-leafed, no corolla, style 
wanting, 4 seeds. Nine species are found in our waters. Flower 
inconspicuous, projecting from the water by its long and porous 
leaves. Some have floating as well as immersed leaves, and some 
only the latter ; the stem bearing flowers projecting from the 
water. Some are coarse plants, some much more delicate. 
After the time of flowering, the stem is chiefly under water. In 
some species the leaves are long and narrow, and are beautiful as 
they wave in running streams. 

P. compressum. W. Compressed stem, with linear, obtuse 


P. fluitans. L. Leaves reddish, spadix an inch long ; upper 
leaves floating. 

P. gramineum. Mx. Leaves narrow-linear, flat ; upper 

P. natans. L. Leaves leathery, long-petioled, lower ones 

P. perfoliatum. L. Leaves clasping, ovate and cordate. 

Plants of little importance. The other four need not be de- 
scribed ; they are P. heterophyllum, Shreb., lucens, Mx., pecti- 
natum, L., and setaceum, Ph. 


Sepals and petals herbaceous, rarely absent ; stamens 6 ; ova- 
ries 3 or 6, superior ; fruit dry, 1 or 2-seeded ; leaves ensiform, 
with parallel veins ; flowers in spikes and racemes. 

The plants of this order are widely spread over the world, in 
marshy places ; properties of no consequence. 


Perianth 6-parted ; ovaries 3-6 ; capsules compressed, inflated, 
2-valved. From Scheuchzer, a German botanist. 

S. palustris. L. About a foot high, with leaves linear, some- 
what 2-rowed, and sheathing ; flowers greenish-yellow, in a small 
terminal raceme ; swamps; July. u Belchertown." 

Triglochin. L. 6. 3. 

From the Greek for three and point, on account of the triangu- 
lar capsule ; only a few species, widely diffused. 

Perianth double, 3-leafed each, the inner petal-like ; stamens 
3 or 6 ; capsules 3 or 6, 1-seeded. 

T. maritimum. L. Sea Arrow-grass. Grows about salt 
marshes, with rush-like leaves, smooth and roundish, with a sweet- 


ish taste. This plant is relished well by cattle, and may form very 
good food for them, according to the recommendations of it. 

ORDER 260. PISTIACE.E. Duck-weed Tribe. 

The simplest of the flowering plants ; a mere leaf or leaves, 
with root-like appendages, floating on water. Pistia, from which 
the order is named, grows in India and in the West Indies. 
Flowers 2, a single stamen and pistil, rising from the margin of 
the leaf ; properties of no consequence. 

Lemna. L. 2. 1. Duck-weed. Duck-meat. 
Stamens 2, near the pistil ; utricle 1 - 5-seeded ; floating. 

L. minor. L. Leaves 2 or 3, scale-like, entire, small, 
smooth, with a single undivided fibre or root passing into the 
water but not into the earth. Often covers many rods of ponds. 

L. polyrhiza. L. Water Flax-seed. Often mixed with the 
other ; rather larger, firmer union of leaves, which send out several 
fibrous roots ; abundant. 

L. trisulca. L. Floating like the others ; leaves half an inch 
long, thin, mostly pellucid, with a single root on the under side, 
sending out a stem from a slit in the leaf, and thus producing 
another leaf, and proliferous in this manner, and appearing like 
leaves strung along or attached to a filamentose stem. 

All these species of Lemna, originating in seed, are propagated 
by leaves produced from leaves already formed ; flowers very 
minute, very rarely seen, appearing in spathe-like openings in the 
side of the leaves ; a very curious genus of plants, but of little 
known use. 



(Or plants bearing glumes or chaff.) 

By Linnaeus the chaff of the glumiferous plants was considered 
as the calyx, or corolla, or both, because it corresponded in 
place to these organs in other plants. Although these organs 
are associated with the other common parts of the flower, they 
are not now considered as the same, but as bracts, imbricated or 
lying over each other. We are familiar with these glumaceous 
» organs in the chaff of rye, wheat, oats, barley, &c. 

These glumiferous plants are disposed in two orders ; 1. the 
Gramine.*:, or Proper Grasses, and 2. the Cyperoide^e, or 
Sedge Grasses. By the common observer, both are blended under 
the general name of the Grasses. 

In both these orders, the essential organs of fructification are, 
generally, found in each flower, though these organs are occasion- 
ally on different plants, or different parts of the same plant. 
Among the Sedge Grasses, the genus Carex, of which more than 
160 species have been found in North America, never has the 
stamens and pistils, the essential organs, situated in one flower, 
but the plants are monoecious or dioecious. 

The Proper Grasses have cylindrical or hollow stems, with a 
large portion of silex deposited in the outer coat of the stem, as 
in wheat, rye, reed, cane, &c. The stems are sometimes so 
siliceous as to strike fire with steel. Their seeds contain a large 
quantity of farinaceous matter, which renders them nutritious as 
the food of man and of various animals. That the seed of wheat, 
rye, rice, &c, are so exclusively used for food, is because those 
seeds are larger, and the plants are more readily cultivated, and 
yield a greater quantity of seed to the same space of land, and 
not because others do not contain farina to the same extent. 

In the Sedge Grasses, the stems are not fistular or hollow, as 
in the others, but are angular, solid, or with a pith extending 
through them. The seeds, too, are mostly destitute of the 
farinaceous nutriment found in the other order of the glume plants. 
The Sedges, though many species are eaten by cattle as fodder, 
are not relished by them except in their young state, and are 


even then neglected for the more common kinds of the Proper 

The Proper Grasses are arranged in about 80 genera, and form 
near 340 species. The Sedge Grasses are in 14 genera, and 
more than 250 species. Both orders are most extensively dif- 
fused from the equator to the limits of perpetual snow, on hills 
and mountains and valleys, in woods and ditches, and ponds and 
open fields, and sands and marshes of the seashore. The Proper 
Grasses are more abundant in the temperate and northern regions, 
while the Sedges become more abundant as we approach the trop- 
ics, and within the tropics. Of the latter, too, the Carices and 
Scirpi, which are numerous at the North, become less abundant 
towards the equator. The species of both orders in North 
America are nearly 600. This wide diffusion of the plants, 
which are of the last importance to man and beast, cannot be con- 
templated without a direct reference of the mind to the munificent 
goodness of the great Creator. 

Of the most important grasses, some are known to have been 
introduced from the eastern continent, and many more are supposed 
to have been so, while others were found originally in this country. 
Thus, rice was introduced from Asia, and the sugar-cane from 
India, while Zea, our Indian corn or maize, is a native of America. 

The grasses may be considered, 

1. As food for man. Rice, maize, wheat, rye, barley, and 
oats, are the principal articles of food over five districts of the 
earth, from south to north. 

In the torrid zone, rice and maize are great sources of food. 
Their cultivation extends into the temperate zone, where wheat is 
associated with them. At length rice disappears, and the wheat 
prevails associated with maize ; and more to the north, rye pre- 
sents itself. Wheat and maize chiefly disappear in higher latitudes, 
and rye prevails, attended by barley and oats, till the latter forms 
the chief article for bread. In Russian America, at latitude 57°, 
rye and barley are ripened ; while on the east side of the con- 
tinent they do not grow in so high a latitude. In Sweden and 
Norway, Scotland and Siberia, oats and barley are cultivated far- 
thest to the north. 

More inhabitants are supported on the globe by rice, than by 

GL [IMAGED. 229 

any other vegetable, and perhaps as many as by most of the 
others together. The range of latitude through which rice is 
found, is considerably less than that of maize. 

With very few exceptions, the seed of the proper grasses, so 
far as is known, is healthful. A very troublesome weed in Eng- 
land, a grass, Lolium temulentum, and one or two species of 
Bromus, are said to have poisonous seed. 

Various other grasses merit a moment's notice. 

Millet is cultivated for its seed in Europe, and Eleusine coracana, 
on the Coromandel coast. Sugar, and its kindred articles, are 
obtained from the grass Saccharum. Others also contain much 
sugar, as one species of Holcus ; and, by fermentation of the 
seeds of several grasses, much sugar is developed. 

Some grasses are finely aromatic, as Sweet Vernal Grass, and 
Holcus odoralus, both which contain benzoic acid, which exhales 
from them ; also Cyperus odoratus. 

In adverting to the use of the grasses for the food of man, it 
should be remarked, that the Potato, Buckwheat, Yams, Mani- 
hot, Batatas, Bananas, Breadfruit, several Palms, and some es- 
culent species of Arum, by means of which so many millions are 
supported, belong to other orders of the vegetable kingdom. 
The same remark should be made in respect to Pea, Bean, Cab- 
bage and Turnip, Pumpkin and Squash, and various other plants. 

2. The use of the grasses in the arts and conveniences of 

The broom-corn has become an article of necessity. The 
Arundo arenaria, and Carex arenaria, are of great use by their 
roots, in making firm the sandy shore of the sea, and the former 
is often wrought into ropes, threads, mats, bags, and lately into 
paper in this State. Every form of straw hat, from the finest 
Leghorn, and its equally fine imitation from the other grasses, to 
the coarsest kind, reminds us of this delicate use of the straw of 
rye, wheat, red-top, &c. The papyrus of the Egyptians, was 
from a sedge grass, Cyperus papyrus, L. Several of the grasses 
are used in the manufacture of chairs and mats, for wicks of can- 
dles, for the stuffing of sofas, and the like. The starch of wheat, 
and the gluten of rye and wheat, as paste, are of great conse- 
quence in several arts. 


3. Food for animals, domestic animals only. The use, too, 
of the herbage, not of the seed, is here to be considered, in re- 
spect to cattle, horses, sheep, &c, or as pasturage and hay. 

The cultivated grasses are chiefly employed for this purpose. 
The two varieties of red clover, the species of white, as 
well as Russia clover, Lucerne, &c, belong to other orders. In 
our fields are chiefly cultivated several kinds of Poa, Agrostis, or 
red and white top, Phleum or Timothy grass, Alopecurus or true 
Fox-tail grass, in small quantity, Festuca, Aira, Panicum, Cinna, 
Wild Oats and Wild Rye, Briza, Dactylis or Orchard grass, 
Andropogon, several species of Cyperus, and 10-30 species of 
Carex, found in most large meadows. On the salt marshes are 
various kinds of coarse grass, among which a species of reed- 
grass is prominent. In the Southern States are many species of 
Cyperus, and of Andropogon or Broom-grass, the latter being 
widely spread over the low country, and giving the dry and life- 
less appearance of an arid soil in winter. 

4. In respect to the beauty the grasses give to fields and woods. 
While the useful is the most important, the pleasing is not to be ne- 
glected. If, then, we cast our eyes over the waving fields of sum- 
mer, it is the multitude of the grasses which delights us. Though 
the flowers of the grasses present no attractions, yet, associated 
as they are with the very support and comforts of life, no splen- 
dor of flowers of the other orders would long be compared with 
the beauty of the fields, which wave in the winds their rich treas- 
ures, for the support of cc the cattle on a thousand hills," and of 
" man, who goeth forth to his work till the evening," the lord of 
all these lower works. 

In the tropical regions, some of the grasses reach a great mag- 
nitude, as some of the reeds are 50 - 60 feet high, and 6 or 8 
inches in diameter. Like the tree-ferns of the same region, these 
are tree-grasses. The leaves are more expanded also, and the 
appearance more like that of some other orders, and the flowers 
become larger and more beautiful. In and near the torrid zone, 
the grasses grow more as separate individuals, and the number is 
proportionably less. The thick, dense, grassy turf, which cov- 
ers the Northern and Middle States, disappears at the South. 
What is gained in the magnitude of the grasses, is lost in the 


beauty of the green that covers the earth at the North as a splen- 
did carpet. The difference between the grass fields of the North 
and South, in this respect, is very great, and vastly in favor of 
the beauty of the North. The beautiful meadows of Europe are 
far more common in the middle and northerly part, than in the 
south of it. In either of the continents, this is counteracted in 
part by elevation, as the higher districts of more Southern climes 
resemble the less elevated regions at the North. The rich ver- 
dure of the grass fields, the green turf of New England, is un- 
known in the West Indies, although their vegetation is more 
luxuriant. The inhabitants talk, indeed, of the green of their 
fields with all propriety ; but it bears no comparison with the 
rich grassy carpet of the North. 

The beauty of the Western prairies requires only an allusion, 
for us to connect it with the endless variety and multitude of the 
grasses, as well as other plants. 

In our forests, these grasses form the beauty of the ground- 
work, as they spring up in abundance on all the open spots, on 
the sides of sunny hills, beside the running streams, and around 
and over the marshes, and wherever the underwood has been by 
any means removed. On the shores of the Arctic Ocean, and 
through the forests watered by the great rivers of the North, 
around Hudson's Bay and the Great Lakes, and to the very sum- 
mits and snows of the Rocky Mountains, the enterprising ex- 
plorers have found the grasses, spreading over the face of nature 
their usefulness and beauty. About one fourteenth of all the 
flowering plants are grasses ; so profusely has the beneficent 
Author of nature provided for the wants and pleasure of man. 

ORDER 261. GRAMINEiE. The Grass Tribe. 

Stamens and pistils commonly in the same flower, enclosed by 
imbricated bracts ; exterior bracts or glumes commonly 2, and 
unequal, alternate ; next interior bracts, or paleae, the corolla of 
Linnaeus, 2, alternate, the down simple ; the inmost bracts or 
scales, at the base of the simple ovary, 2, or 3, or none, distinct 
or united ; stamens 1 -6, usually 3 ; styles I - 3, usually 2, with 


feathery stigmas ; stem or culm cylindrical, hollow, except at 
the joints ; leaves alternate, with a divided or split sheath. 

Of the plants of this order, 121 species, under 46 genera, are 
credited to Massachusetts in the u Geology " of the State, by 
Professor Hitchcock. These are more than one third of all the 
grasses then known to be growing in North America. The origi- 
nal genera of the grasses have been greatly cut up and divided, 
partly from a more careful examination of the characters and 
habits of the plants, and in part from imaginary, or unessential, or 
artificial characters. The species credited to this State are 
correct, and few published additions have been made to them. 
Many of the cultivated grasses, however, were not introduced into 
the Catalogue in the " Geology." 

Agrostis. L. 3. 2. Bent-grass. 

Glume naked, 2-valved, 1 -flowered, with the valves longer 
than the 2 membranous palese or interior chaff, which enclose a 
single seed. 

Named from the Greek for field, and hence applied by the 
Greeks to most grasses, on account of the place of growth. 

A. vulgaris. L. The well-known Red-top. 

A. alba. L. The White-top Grass. This and the preceding 
have been introduced from Europe ; but the former is spread over 
hill and dale, in pastures and meadows, being one of those most 
extensively diffused. The fine green sward or turf of New Eng- 
land, is greatly composed of this grass, as it forms the beautiful 
green carpet spread in spring and autumn over the alluvial 
meadows. The White-top is far less abundant than the other. 
Both are to be added to the 10 species in the " Geology." The 
former grows with great closeness, so that it yields a large swath 
in the meadows, though it is not a tall grass. It throws out abun- 
dance of leaves from the roots and along the lower part of the 
culm, and forms an excellent hay for cattle, but is too fine a grass 
for horses. It is often called English Grass. 

The Fiorin Grass, so highly commended in Ireland, seems to 
be only a variety of A. alba. In England, it has not succeeded 


according to the expectations excited by its praises. Indeed, 
A, vulgaris does not appear to be a grass so highly valued in Eng- 
land as in this country. 

The 10 species of the " Geology," are far less abundant than 
these 2, which are valuable for pasturage. 

Agrostis stolonifera, Fiorin Grass, is recently introduced. 

A. polymorpha. Huds. Fiorin Grass. A variety of A. alba, 
and the same as A. decumbens, Muhl., according to Torrey. 

A. lateriflora. Mx. Grows 2 feet high or more, with swel- 
ling knots or joints, branching, with lateral and terminal panicles 
of rather dense flowers. 

A. sobolifera, Muhl., which is much like the preceding, is 
probably to be added as one of our grasses about fields and borders. 

A. longifolia. Torrey. Is 2-4 feet high, erect, simple, 
with leaves often 2 feet long, tapering into a fine extremity ; sheath 
smooth ; panicle terminal and lateral, with compressed flowers. 

A. sylvatica. Torrey. Is 2 - 3 feet high, erect, branched 
and diffuse, with a slender filiform panicle ; glumes shorter than 
the paleae, with awns longer than the flower. Hills of Berkshire 
County. While it resembles A. lateriflora, and is A. diffusa, 
Muhl., it is chiefly to be noticed for its spreading branches. The 
other species are A. canina, W., clandestina, Spreng., tenuiflora, 
Willd., Virginica, L. 

Polypogon. Des. 3. 2. 

Taken from Agrostis, and named from the Greek for many 
beards ; as the glumes and the lower palese terminate in a bristle. 

P. glomeratus. W. Has an erect, compressed stem, and 
close or not spreading branches, and a panicle, dense, inter- 
rupted, and conglomerated ; bog meadows ; August and Sep- 



Trichodium. Mx. 3. 2. 

From the Greek for a hair, on account of the smallness of the 
stem. Glume 2-valved, larger than the single palea ; stigma near- 
ly sessile. 

T. laxiflorum. Mx. Tickle -grass. Spread on dry and 
rather poor pastures ; often 2 feet high, slender, leafy towards 
the base, and dividing into very slender and leafless branches ; 
May ; June. Should be kept down by feeding, as its stem 
otherwise becomes too wiry for cattle to eat ; forms a hand- 
some turf ; July. 

T. scabrum. Muhl. A foot or more high, often geniculate, 
or bent like a knee at the joints ; branched, and quite diffuse in 
its panicle ; glume serrated and rough on the keel ; dry woods ; 
August ; not abundant. Agrostis scabra, Willd. 

Aira. L. 3. 2. 

A. flexuosa. L. Hair-grass. The only species now belong- 
ing to the genus ; an erect, elegant grass, as it stands waving in 
the air ; not abundant, grows in tufts in the valleys and on hills. 
On the east side of Saddle Mountain, at an elevation of more than 
2000 feet above the base, it grows in large tufts. It is too hard a 
grass to be useful as food for cattle, except when young ; June. 

Trisetum. Pers. 3. 2. 

Taken from Aira, and named from the 3 awns or beards of the 
palea, 2 at the tip, and 1 from the middle of the back ; the 
glume includes 3-5 flowers, and is as long as they are. 

T. palustre. Tor. Grows in wet meadows, and has a con- 
tracted, nodding panicle ; June ; rather rare. 

T. purpurascens. Torrey. Grows in mountain meadows, 2 
feet high, leafy, somewhat branched ; leaves narrow ; not abun- 


Uralepsis. Nutt. 3. 2. 
U. aristulata. Nutt. Taken also from Aim. Glumes 2, 
shorter than the florets, including 2-3 flowers; palese 2, very 
unequal, villous on the margins ; florets standing on short stems 
in the glumes ; panicle simple. The culms are cespitose or 
growing in dense clusters, with axillary and terminal panicles, 
scarcely extending beyond the sheaths ; sea-coast, and sandy 
.fields ; New Bedford ; August. The plant secretes a viscid, sour 
matter, of strong taste. Torrey. 

Kceleria. Pers. 3. 2. 

Glume 2-3-flowered, 2-valved, beardless ; valves shorter 
than the lowest floret ; paleae 2 ; spikelets compressed. 

Named after Professor Koehler of Mayence, a writer on the 
Grasses ; rather handsome plants. Loudon. 

K. Pennsylvanica. DC. Grows in rocky woods, 2 feet 
high, with a long panicle, flat leaves, and soft, pubescent sheaths ; 
May and June. 

K. truncata. Tor. Is 2 feet high, slender, with a branching 
panicle, loose ; palese smooth ; dry woods ; June. 

Var. major. Tor. Has a large spreading panicle, and broad- 
linear, long leaves. 

Both species taken from Aira, and not very abundant. 

Alopecurus. L. 3. 2. Fox-tail Grass. 

Named from the Greek for fox and tail, from the resemblance 
-of its spike of flowers to the tail of that animal. The common 
Timothy Grass has a similar appearance, and is often so called, 
though its spike does not so much resemble the tail of a fox ; and 
it is a very different plant, and should not trespass on the appro- 
priate name of this plant. 

Only 3 species of Alopecurus are known in this country ; 
A. pratensis, L., Meadow Fox-tail Grass, is found in rather more 
wet situations than A. geniculates, L. ; both are somewhat pro- 
cumbent. A. aristulatus, Mx., has very short awns ; grows 
near Boston. They afford good food for cattle. 


Phleum. L. 3. 2. 

P. pratense. L. Timothy Grass. Called by the English 
Cat's-tail Grass, after the name of an unknown Greek plant, and 
Timothy, after Timothy Hanson, says Loudon, who carried it to 
England from New York in 1780. Indigenous to this country; it 
has become a very important grass for culture, yielding a great 
abundance of food for the cropping of horses and cattle till the 
stalks rise, and then a great amount of hay ; excellent, especially 
for horses. As a grass, it contains much nutriment, and is well 
known, and not too highly valued. 

Phalaris. L. 3. 2. 

Said to be derived from the Greek for brilliant, on account of 
its shining seeds. 

P. arundinacea. L. Ribbon-grass. Beautiful in its varie- 
gated striped leaves, of which there is an endless variety, so that 
no two leaves have been found alike. A native of Britain. 

P. Americana. Ell. Much resembles the preceding, grows 
in wet situations, 3-5 feet high, in large cespitose aggregations, 
often covering many square yards. Too hard a grass for food, 
except when young. Scarcely differs from the preceding except 
in the color of the leaves. 

P. canariensis. Canary Grass. From Britain ; cultivated, as 
the Canary bird is very fond of its seed. It is a handsome grass 
in the gardens. 

Anthoxanthum. L. 3. 2. 

A. odoratum. L. Sweet Vernal Grass. A common, but not 
abundant grass in meadows and fields, growing in small tufts, very 
pleasant in odor from the Benzoic acid in it. Cut in its young 
state, it makes tolerable hay. 

Supposed to be introduced from Britain, and named from the 
Greek for yellow flower, from the color of the spikes ; flowers in 

One species is found in Morocco, and another in Spain. 


Avena. L. 3. 2. Oat. 
Origin of the name uncertain ; perhaps from the Celtic, to eat. 

A. sativa. L. The common Oat, so valuable for food for 
horses and other animals, and forming the material for bread 
among so many people in the North of Europe, and for some 
other preparations for food. " Fourteen pounds of grain yield 
eight pounds of meal." Loudon. Several varieties are culti- 
vated. One, whose flower-stalks are less diffuse, and somewhat 
twisted, bearing a greener colored fruit, is thought to yield very 
abundantly. In Europe some other species are cultivated as food 
for horses. 

A. sterilis. L. Animal Oat. Cultivated in gardens as a 
curiosity, as its spikes with their long awns are sensitive to 
changes in the moisture of the air. Placed in the hand, they 
creep about, having a remote resemblance to some animal. From 
Barbary, and quite singular in this hygrometric property. 

A. Jlavescens. L. Yellow Oat Grass. Recently introduced. 

A. mollis. Mx. Wild Oat. A small grass of no con- 
siderable importance, found in open woods, and along hedges ; 
flowers in June. 

Danthonia. DC. 3. 2. 

D. spicata. DC. Wild Oats. Named after the French 
botanist, Danthoine. Loudon. Taken from Avena ; is common 
in pastures and open woods, a foot high or more ; has some resem- 
blance to the common Oat, though its flowers are much more 
compact ; eaten well by cattle, but commonly grows rather 

Arrhenatherum. P. de B. Tall Oat-Grass. 

A. avenaceum. P. de B. A tall grass, introduced from 
Europe, and naturalized in some places. Big. Taken from 


A. Pennsylvanicum. Tor. Grows in the same situations as 
Danthonia, in Berkshire County. 

These grasses are not of great consequence. 

Cinna. L. 3. 2. 

C. arundinacea. L. Reedy Grass. Named from the Greek 
to burn or heat, from supposed effects of a plant upon cattle. 

This is a slender, delicate grass, erect, lax, with lax branches 
of flowers, in moist woods ; appears to be sought for by cattle ; 
common, but not abundant ; June. 

Arundo. L. 3. 2. Reed Grass. 
Derived, perhaps, from the Celtic for water. Loudon. 
Glume 2-valved, beardless, unequal, naked ; paleae membranous, 
2, with bristles at the base, lower one mucronate ; flowers in 

A. Canadensis. Mx. Widely spread over wet grounds in 
this State ; larger than the last ; 3 - 5 feet high, erect, stiff ; in 
its young state eaten by cattle. 

A. coarctata. Tor. Grows about salt marshes. 

A. phragmites. L. Common Reed. The specific name is 
from the Greek for hedge or separation (Loudon), probably from 
the use of it ; common to Europe and this country. Grows 
about ponds and in marshes, 6-10 feet high, large, with broad 
and long leaves, and with a large, spreading panicle of flowers 
and fruit, so as to resemble Indian corn at a distance. In Brazil, 
the reeds grow from 30-60 feet high. The common Cane 
fishing-pole, imported from France, Spain, Italy, &c, where it 
grows in abundance, is A. donax. 

Psamma. P. de B. 3. 2. 

P. arenaria. P. de B. Has been taken from Arundo ; 
grows 2-4 feet high, of a sea-green color; leaves wide and 
rather short ; close, erect plant ; found in the sands of the sea- 

GRAMINE-ffi. 239 

shore, where it sends out its thick hard roots forming a mat of 
roots to resist the action of the waves, and the motion of the dry 
sands, and becomes a very important article. 

It is widely diffused over the world. In the Hebrides it is 
formed into " mats for pack-saddles, bags, hats," &c. hind. It 
is from this grass that paper has been extensively manufactured at 
Dorchester, and no little credit is due the enterprising manufac- 
turer. It is only w r onderful that this grass, on account of its well 
known strong fibres, had not been long before so employed. 

In England it is called mat-grass, and the Greek word for sand 
gives it the generic name. 

Andropogon. L. 3. 2. Forked Grass. 

From the Greek for man and beard, from the fancied resem- 
blance of the hairs on the flow 7 ers to the beard. Loudon. 

A. furcatum. Muhl. Forked Spike. Forked Beard-Grass. 
Grows in cespitose clusters, with the roots densely interwoven, 
4-6 feet high, in sandy soil, along hedges, and in alluvial 

The other species, A. macrourum, Mx., nutans, L., Beard- 
Grass, purpurascens, Muhl., Virginicum, L., attract little atten- 
tion ; little used as food for cattle. At the South, they are 
numerous and abundant, and give to the fields the dry appearance, 
so different from the green carpet of the North. 

Aristida. L. 3. 2. 

The 3 species of this genus, dichotoma, Mx., gracilis, Ell., 
purpurascens, Poir., have little interest. 

Stipa. L. 3. 2. Feather Grass. 

Named from the Greek for silky or feathery. The 2 species, 
avenacea, L., Canadensis, Lmk., are not abundant. 

Trichochloa. DC. 3. 2. 
From the Greek for hair and grass, Hair Grass. 

T. capillaris. DC. A beautiful grass, taken from Stipa, 
with flowers in a large panicle ; sandy woods ; Deerfield ; June. 


The panicle of flowers is long and capillary, very slender, pur- 
ple and glossy ; waves beautifully in the air. 

Briza. L. 3. 2. Quaking-Grass. 

From the Greek for balance, from the balancing state of the 
spikelets. Loudon. 

B. media. L. Is a foot or more high, with few flowers on 
spreading, small, purple branches ; introduced in the vicinity of 
Boston. Big. It is not a grass that promises to be of much 
utility as food for cattle. 

Bromus. L. 3. 2. 
u A name given by the Greeks to a sort of wild oat." Loudon. 
This is a genus of plants of little use or of injurious influence. 

B. secalinus. L. Chess, or Cheat, or Rye Broom-Grass. 
This is the well-known chess of the wheat field, especially when 
the grain, as rye or wheat, is winter-killed. This has given origin 
to the notion, that wheat in this case changes into this plant ; a 
notion about as probable as that tobacco changes into cotton. It 
is singular, however, that the chess should often be so abundant 
where the rye or wheat is cut off. It is an annual plant. If the 
farmer does not intend to raise chess, he must have his seed- 
wheat free from it, and his ground destitute of the seed. When 
the seed is ground with the wheat, the flour is much injured, and 
seems to have narcotic powers. Loudon. 

Three species of Bromus, ciliatus, L., purgans, L., and pu- 
bescens, Muhl., are not in sufficient quantity to receive much at- 
tention. The seeds of B. mollis, L., are said to be deleterious. 

Dactylis. L. 3. 2. 

D. glomerata. L. Orchard Grass. From the Greek for 
finger, from the imaginary resemblance of its heads of flowers to 
the fingers. Loudon. 

This is a beautiful and well-known grass, 2 or 3 feet high, with a 
spreading, one-sided top, and much larger towards the bottom, in 


shaded meadows and fields ; has a rapid growth, and is considered 
a valuable grass in England when young. It is not supposed to 
be indigenous to this country. It can in no way compare with 
Timothy Grass for grazing, or the value of the crop. 

Festuca. L. 3. 2. Fescue-Grass. 

Fest is the Celtic for food or pasture, and may be the root of 
this name (Loudon) ; or it may be from fetu for festu, a straw. 
» Webster. 

Glume 2-valved, unequal, many-flowered ; inner chaff 2, lan- 
ceolate, and the outer one awned at the tip, or sharp-pointed ; 
spikelets rather flat. 

F. pratensis. Huds. Meadow Fescue-Grass. Has a branch- 
ed, spreading panicle of linear and acute spikelets, with linear 
leaves ; grows in meadow r s and fields ; culm 1-2 feet high ; in- 
troduced from England. 

In this country this is not considered a very valuable grass. 
Curtis mentions it as one of the six grasses in England for laying 
down pastures or meadows ; it should be cut when in flower, as 
it loses, like most grasses, a considerable portion of its nutriment 
by ripening. Loudon. 

F. ovina. L. Sheep's Fescue. Is recently introduced as a 
valuable grass. 

F. elatior. L. Much like F. pratensis, considerably larger, 
grows in more wet meadows, and is eagerly cropped by cattle in 
its young state ; of about the same value. 

F. duriuscula. L. Considered a fine grass in England for 
hay or pasture ; not very common in this State, but coming into 

The two other species, nutans, W., and tenella, W., have little 
value. F. tenella, W., is a low, beautiful, rather stiff grass. 

Note. The six grasses mentioned by Curtis, are Anthoxan- 
thum odoralum, Alopecurus pratensis, Poa pratensis and Poa 


trivialis, Cynosurus cristatus, and Festuca pratensis ; all but Cy- 
nosurus common in this State, and many of them far inferior for 
culture here to our Timothy Grass. 

Glyceria. R. Br. 3. 2. 

G. Jluitans. R.Br. Floating Fescue. This was taken from 
Festuca, and is closely allied to jP. elatior ; grows in wet places, 
and stagnant water, and its long, narrow leaves float on the sur- 
face. The herbage, roots, and seed are grateful to various 
animals. The generic name is from the Greek for sweet, from the 
pleasantness of the herbage to cattle. 

G. acutiflora, Torrey, was found at Deerfield by Dr. Cooley ; 
much like the other, but a smaller grass. 

Cynosurus. L. 3. 2. 
Named from the Greek for dog's tail, from the form of the 
spike of flowers. About 20 species are spread over the eastern 
continent, though but few in one section. 

C. cristatus. L. Dog's-tail Grass. Is common in the 
meadows of Europe, and is rather a favorite grass of the English. 
The seed of it is now sold to agriculturists, and the value of the 
grass in this country will soon be ascertained. It yields much 
more bulk of grass in seed-time, than in flowering ; but its nutri- 
ment is far greater when cut in flowering-time, even as 17 to 10. 
It delights in a dry soil ; fitted for good pasturage. .Sinclair. 

Uniola. L. 3. 2. 
U. spicata. L. Spike Grass. Named from the union of the 
glumes. Loudon. An American genus found about salt marshes. 

Holcus. L. 3. 2. 

H. lanatus. L. Woolly Soft Grass. Velvet Grass. Culm 
2-3 feet high, with a downy covering, very soft ; in meadows at 
Watertown. Big. Introduced. Named from the Greek to 
draw, on the old notion that the leaves would draw out thorns 
from the flesh. Loudon. A grass little desired by any animals. 

GRAMINKffi. 243 

This is one of the grasses, that have polygamous flowers, some- 
times both stamens and pistils in the same flowers, and at others 


Hierochloa. Gmelin. 3. 2. 

Glume 2-valved, 3-flowered ; lateral florets bear 3 anthers only, 
central floret is perfect, with 2 stamens commonly. 

Taken from Holcus, whose glumes are 2-flowered, and have 
v dissimilar florets. 

H. borealis. R. and S. Seneca Grass. Panicle rather 
1 -sided, somewhat spreading ; IS inches high ; wet meadows ; 
May. Sweet-scented American plant, spread widely over the 
country, but not of much utility. 

Hordeum. L. 3. 2. Barley. 

Inflorescence a spike or long dense head of flowers ; spikelets 
3 at each joint of the head, 1 -flowered, commonly all perfect. 
Several species are cultivated. 

H. vulgare. L. The common barley. 

H. hexastichon. L. The head six-rowed. 

H. distichon. L. The spike two-rowed. 

A well-known use of barley is for malting, for the produc- 
tion of beer ; a drink, which is the bane of England, and is far 
too often a nauseous compound in this country, ruinous to appe- 
tite, and health, and good looks. Beer-drinkers have a loath- 
some appearance. 

Barley flour forms much valued hot cakes for breakfast. Pot 
barley is a preparation of the seed by grinding off the husk. In 
the pearl or hulled barley, the seed is left finely round and white ; 
it is much used in soups and in medicinal drinks. Loudon. Its 
use is comparatively familiar in this country. 

H. jubalum. L. Wild Barley. Squirrel-tailed Grass. Culm 
slender, smooth, about 2 feet high, with rather short leaves ; awns 


long and fine, so that the spikes appear hairy and smooth ; in 
marshes ; Boston ; June. Big. This grass is widely spread 
over North America. 

Elymus. L. 3. 2. Lime Grass. Wild Rye. 

Derived from the Greek to cover, from the use of one species 
in coarse fabrics. Loudon. 

The 4 species of this grass in this State, E. Canadensis, L., 
hystrix, L., villosus, Muhl., and Virginicus, L., are not abundant, 
and are of little utility. They usually grow on the sandy banks of 
streams, or in sandy woods. Most of them are fine-looking plants. 
E. glaucifolius, W., is a tall grass, often 4-5 feet high, glaucous 
color, and, with its long, recurved, and waving spikes, ever attracts 
attention. It is a variety of E. Canadensis, L., according to 
Torrey ; but this seems rather doubtful. At any rate, this noble 
plant ought to be the species. 

Panicum. L. 3. 2. Panic Grass. 
Probably named from the Latin for bread, from the use of some 
species. It is a pretty large genus. At least 16 species, agros- 
toides, Muhl., anceps, Mx., capillare, L., clandestinum, L., crus- 
galll, L., dichotomum, L., depauperatum, Muhl., discolor, Muhl., 
geniculatum, Muhl., hispidum, Muhl., involutum, T., latifolium, 
L., macrocarpon, Torrey, nervosum, Muhl., nitidum, Lmk., vir- 
gatum, L., are found in this State. The species are found in 
pastures and cultivated fields. They are of little consequence 
for cattle. The culms are stiff and hard, often hairy, and cattle 
do not appear to relish them after they have come to any size. 
The Cock's-foot Grass, introduced from Europe, and common in 
gardens, and about yards, seems to follow man in his dispersions 
over this country. Two new species were found at Deerfield by 
Dr. Cooley, and named by Dr. Torrey. P. miliaceum, L., 
Millet, is sometimes found in gardens. 

Setaria. P. de Beauv. Bottle Grass. 
Named from the Latin for bristle, as the involucre is composed 
of bristles ; taken from Panicum. 

Four species of this grass, viridis, glauca, Italica, verticillata, 


P. de B., are pretty common. One of them, often called Fox- 
tail Grass, from its long and large bristly spike, is common about 
gardens and fields, and seems to follQW man. 8, viridis, is found 
in the vicinity of Boston. 

Digitaria. Walter. 3. 2. Crab Grass. Finger Grass. 
Named from its finger-like form of spikes. The 2 species 
were ranked with the Panic Grasses. They grow in dry and 
sandy soils. The common one, D. sanguinalis, Scop., has a 
reddish or purplish culm, rather prostrate, spreads rapidly over 
the fields. The seeds are employed for food in Poland. The 
other is called filiformis, Ell., from its thread-like culm and spikes. 

Eleusine. Gaertner. 3. 2. Wire Grass. 

From Eleusis, a name of Ceres, the goddess of grasses. 
Loudon. Glumes 5-7-flowered, obtuse, equal; scales truncate. 

E. Indica. Lmk. Spread widely over Europe, Asia, Africa, 
and America ; common in cultivated grounds ; not much used by 
animals. Culm 1-2 feet high, compressed, declined; spikes 
straight, erect, in pairs or fours ; July. 

Poa. L. 3. 2. Meadow Grass. 

From the Greek for herb ; one of the most important grasses 
for the support of cattle. More than 30 species are native or 
cultivated in England, and 24 are credited to the Northern States, 
and 18 species to this State. 

Spikelets oblong, linear, compressed, many-flowered, from 
3-20 ; glumes shorter than the florets ; inner chaff or paleae 
sometimes woolly at the base ; scales smooth ; panicled, branched. 

P. pratemis. L. Common Spear Grass. This well-known 
and abundant meadow grass forms a great proportion of the turf 
or greensward of pastures and meadows ; found in all situations, 
except as an aquatic. To this should be added P. trivialis, L., 
and P. annua, L., as another part of turf grasses. The latter is 
small, low, forming a dense mat by walls, in yards, along the 
streets and fields, springing up early in the spring, and flowering 


early and long. It makes beautiful patches everywhere, and is 
deservedly receiving more attention. 

P. compressa, L. Is the Blue Grass, or Blue Spear Grass, 
named from its compressed and much-flattened stem, and bluish- 
green color ; much less common, does not form turf, though it 
grows in clusters, and might, perhaps, when cultivated, be valua- 
ble, but seems to delight in the borders of woods and moist situa- 
tions along banks. Seems to be loved by cattle. 

P. nervata. W. Meadow Spear Grass. The Foul Meadow 
of many farmers, 3 or 4 feet high, erect, with a recurved panicle 
in its older state, waving beautifully in the wind, and having a fine 
appearance. It is a much coarser grass than the preceding, and 
is not so well relished by cattle, though it is readily eaten as hay 
in winter. Some other coarse grasses go to make up all that is 
called Foul Meadow. 

P. eragrostis. L. Branching Spear Grass. A large and 
beautiful grass, with a diffuse panicle of flowers and fruit ; color 
bright-green ; not common ; sandy soil. 

P. Canadensis. Torrey. Another large and beautiful grass, 
about orchards and fields ; not abundant. 

P. nemoralis. L. Inhabits wet open woods ; a large, tall, 
rank grass, with a long, finely arched panicle of fruit ; too coarse 
for food, except when young ; Berkshire County ; June. 

P. maritima. Huds. A beautiful grass about salt marshes. 
Big. A foot high ; branches in pairs. 

P. capillaris. L. A beautiful, slender grass in its panicle, 
which is large, loose, and spreading. 

P. dentata. Torrey. Has a loose panicle ; wand-like branch- 
es ; spikelets 5-flowered ; lower palea 5-nerved and 5-toothed at 
the apex ; swamps ; June. 


P. palustris. Muhl. Has a diffuse panicle ; florets a little 
webbed at the tip ; 2-3 feet high, erect ; in wet meadows ; June. 

The other species, aquatica, T., elongata, T., hirsuta, Ml., 
obtusa, Muhl., pectinacea, Mx., reptans, Mx., like several of the 
preceding, have little utility. 

Tricuspis. P. de Beauv. 

Spikelets roundish, swollen, many-flowered, 5-7 ; lower palea 
bifid-toothed ; seed 2-horned. 

T. seslerioides. Torrey. Formerly considered a Poa, a large 
and splendid grass, often 5 feet high, with a large spreading pan- 
icle, purplish, in wet meadows ; falsely called Red-top, and far in- 
ferior for utility in New England. It is said to yield two crops a 
season in the mountain meadows of Pennsylvania, and to be an 
excellent grass. It must be cut early to be eatable by cattle, and 
then may become a valuable grass. Leaves are large, and long, 
and smooth. This is the Poa quinquefida of Pursh, and seems 
to be very close to that genus. 

Pa sp alum. L. 3. 2. Paspalon Grass. 

The two species, ciliatifolium, Mx., and setaceum, Mx., do not 
appear extensively diffused ; it is the Greek name for millet. 

Muhlenbergia. Schreb. 3. 2. 

Named in honor of Muhlenberg, to whom the Botany of this 
country is greatly indebted, a pupil of Linnaeus, and distinguished 
as a scientific man, an ardent lover of nature, with a character 
every way estimable. 

Two species, diffusa, Schreb., and erecta, Schreb., are found in 
this State ; small slender grasses, of little value, early losing their 
seed, and called Drop-seed Grass ; not abundant, good food for 

As the name of the great Linnaeus was given to a small and 
neglected plant, so that of Muhlenberg is honored by one of the 
poor grasses. 


Spartina. Schreb. 3. 1. Rougb Grass. 
Three species, cynosuroides, W., glabra, Muhl., and juncea, 
W., are in this State ; coarse and rough grasses, somewhat sedge- 
like, about marshes ; all in the vicinity of Boston. Two of the 
species are large, 3-5 feet high. 

ZlZANIA. L. 19. 1. 

Derived from a Greek name of another and very different 
plant. This is a native of America, and found about all the 
northern Lakes. 

Glume none ; seed 1, enveloped in the plaited paleae. 

Z. aquatica. Lamb. Water Oats. Wild Rice. Culm 
4-6 feet high, jointed, large, with a wide-spreading panicle of 
flowers tapering to the apex, and large leaves ; seeds half an inch 
long, smooth and blackish, abundant, and resembling rice in their 
properties, as they form fine flour. It is suggested by Dr. Bige- 
low, that it might be profitably cultivated to render " large tracts 
of inundated ground and stagnant water " useful, as horses are 
fond of it, and as it yields an abundant crop. The seeds are 
collected and eaten by the Indians around the great Lakes ; and, 
though they are the most valuable part of the plant, they fall off 
early and easily, so as to render it difficult to collect them. 
Pinkerton says, u this plant seems intended by nature to become 
the bread-corn of the north." Loudon. The plant has been in- 
troduced into England, and grows, as in this country, around 

In the eastern part of this State, it grows on the sides of ponds 
and slow streams. Big. It must of course form valuable food 
for the wild geese, and many other animals at the North. 

Milium. L. 3. 2. 

M. pungens. Torrey. This is the Dwarf Millet Grass, to 
be added to those in the u Geology." 

Erect, slender, 12- 18 inches high, simple, stiff; radical leaves 
6-8 inches long, a line wide, acute ; panicle few-flowered. The 


glumes are 2, beardless ; inner chaff oblong, shorter than the 
glume, awnless. 

Grows about Deerfield on dry hills, and in the vicinity of Bos- 
ton ; May. 

Leersia. Svv. 3. 2. Cut Grass. 

Named after the botanist Leers. L. oryzoides, Svv., and L. 
Virginica, W., are both indigenous to this country, and one of 
-the two is found also in the Levant. The two species are found in 
ditches and about wet places by sluggish waters ; grow 2 or more 
feet high, with a light-green stem, and yellowish-white flowers, 
which have only one floral envelope ; leaves rough backwards, es- 
pecially on one of the species, so as to convince one of the ap- 
propriate name, cut-grass ; common, but not abundant. 

Oryzopsis. Mx. 3. 2. Mountain Rice. 

Named from the resemblance of the seeds to rice, the name of 
which is Oryza. 

0. asperifolia. Mx. Found in woods in light soil, 1-2 feet 
high, with long, deep-green leaves at the root, erect and stiff, and 
green through the winter ; panicle simple, flexuous ; seed white, 
about as large as rice, and farinaceous ; April and May. 

Whether it will be profitable for cultivation, as Pursh proposed, 
on account of its fine white flour, can be ascertained only by trial. 

Piptatherum. Beauv. 3. 2. 
This was taken from the last, which it resembles considerably. 

P. nigrum. Torrey. Blackseeded Millet Grass. Flowers 
in a simple panicle, rather racemed ; inner chaff black and hairy, 
with a long awn ; 2-3 feet high ; leaves long, linear-lanceolate ; 
few-flowered ; seed black, a little larger than the rice. 

Lolium. L. 3. 2. 

From the Celtic name of the plant. Loudon. Glume 1-valved 
to the lower fruit, and 2-valved to the upper ; lower palea with a 
bristle or awn at the end ; scales with 2 unequal teeth. 


L. perenne. L. Darnel Grass. Culm IS inches high, smooth, 
with broad-linear leaves ; spike 6 inches long, with spikelets 
7-9-flowered ; meadows and roads ; cultivated for hay in Eng- 

L. temulentum. L. Is attributed to New England by Dr. 
Torrey ; a troublesome weed, having poisonous seed ; introduced. 

L. Italicum. Ray Grass. Recently introduced and recom- 

Triticum. L. 3. 2. 

Derived from the Latin for wear, because worn or ground into 
an eatable substance. As embracing wheat, this genus contains 
one of the most important vegetables. 

T. repens. L. Quake, or Quack, or Couch Grass. Some- 
times, from its resemblance to wheat, it is called Wheat Grass. 
This is a troublesome grass of gardens and fields, difficult to 
eradicate, as it sends out many and long roots, creeping under 
ground, exceedingly tenacious of life. It grows 2 or more feet 
high, with an erect culm, stiff, leafy, terminating in crowded spike- 
lets. It is probably from Europe. 

T. cestivum. L. Summer Wheat. 

T. hybernum. L. Winter Wheat. 

T. turgidum, L ., and T.Polonicum, L., and T. compositum, L., 
Egyptian Wheat. 

These are perhaps varieties of one or two species. Besides 
these, there are many varieties of wheat, as white, red, bearded, 
beardless, woolly, &c, seeming to run into each other. Even 
the Egyptian wheat, with its branched spikes, has changed to the 
single spike in England. Loudon. The last three species, just 
mentioned, are said to be from Egypt ; also T. spelta, W., and 
T. monococcum, L., which deserve attention. 

As wheat is so important an article of food, and extends over 


so many degrees of latitude, it is important to know the varieties 
best suited to the climate, and the soil most adapted to the plant. 
The former must be ascertained by trial ; the latter is pretty well 
known already. The wheat-growing countries are not among the 
primary formation of Geology, but in the transition and secondary. 
In the first, siliceous or argillaceous soils prevail ; in the second 
and third, calcareous and argillaceous, and the latter is of a much 
richer character than the former. To make wheat a good 
crop in primitive countries, there must be good and continued 
manuring ; and a very great improvement would be the addition 
of lime to the soil in some form, either as marl or lime itself, so 
that the carbonate of lime shall be in the earth. This seems to 
be shown by the advantages which result from lime as a manure, 
and from the fact, that the soil of secondary countries, so pro- 
ductive of wheat in the temperate latitudes, contains much car- 
bonate of lime. For illustration, turn to the valley of the Gene- 
see, where the earth effervesces powerfully with acids, and where 
lime, and sulphate of lime, and muriate of lime are found com- 
monly in the waters. A great improvement will doubtless be 
found in the increase of lime in our soils. There must, indeed, 
be silex, for this earth seems to be necessary for the hardness of 
the cuticle, of which glass may be formed by melting the ashes. 

Wheat is said to yield more flour, and its flour to contain 
more nutritious matter, than any other grain. It yields also a large 
proportion of starch, considered of the best kind. 

The straw of wheat is wrought into hats, &c. The Dunstable 
hats are made from the wheat raised on the chalky soil near that 
place in England. The Leghorn hats are formed of a short and 
small wheat raised for that purpose on the Arno, between Leg- 
horn and Florence, and the straws are not split for this object. 
Loudon. In this State, some beautiful bonnets have been formed 
from some species of Poa and Agrostis. 

Secale. L. 3. 2. Rye. 

Supposed to be from the Latin to cut, and that from the Celtic 
for sickle (Loudon). It sometimes grows in our neglected fields ; 
it cannot be called naturalized ; native country, the North of Asia 
and Europe. 


S. Cereale. L. Has its specific name from Ceres, the fabled 
goddess of agriculture. Next to wheat, it is the most important 
grain for this latitude, as it yields the next best flour in any consider- 
able quantity ; it likes a colder climate, and is still more important 
at the North. It delights in a soil more siliceous, and is better 
adapted than wheat to much of the soil of this Commonwealth. 
It contains more gluten and less fecula or starch than wheat. 
Gluten, as paste, is an article of importance in some arts. Rye 
is not much cultivated in England, as the soil is better adapted to 
wheat ; in New England it is a grain of great value. The two 
varieties, summer and winter rye, are supposed to belong to one 

The heads of rye sometimes become diseased, and ergot, 
large, long, black grains are produced instead of the seed. Some 
have considered ergot a mere disease ; others have called it a 
fungus. De Candolle named it Sclerotium clavus (Acinulac, 
Fries). At any rate, it is a poisonous substance, and exerts a 
pernicious influence on breeding animals, and especially upon 
sheep. The ewes should not be suffered to eat this refuse part 
of rye for some time before bearing their young, if, indeed, at 
all, as many lambs are thus lost. 

Sorghum. L. 19. 1. 

$. saccharatum. L. Broom Corn. The value of this article, 
and the extent of its cultivation, are well known ; said to have 
come from India ; too rough, and large, and hard, for food of 
cattle. For the manufacture of brooms it is a grass of the first 
necessity, and in some parts of the State an article of very 
profitable cultivation. 

S. vulgar e. L. Coffee Corn. Grand Millet. Sometimes culti- 
vated in gardens as a curiosity, or for feeding hens, &c. ; not con- 
sidered of great value, probably because we have other grasses of 
more value for the same object. In Arabia and Asia Minor, it is 
much cultivated, and considered an important article for the food of 
man ; also in China and in the West Indies. It yields fine white 
flower ; in Arabia is called Durra or Dora. The generic name 
is said to be derived from the Indian name of the plant. Its tops 
are used also for brooms. Loudon. 


Zea. L. 19. 3. Indian Corn. 
The Greek name of some kind of corn, from the Greek word 
to live, on account of its nutriment. 

Z. mays. L. Maize. Cultivated, but indigenous to Ameri- 
ca. It is more abundant at the South, larger, and more produc- 
tive, and its flour is whiter and more excellent. The necessity 
of hot weather to ripen this grain in this latitude, is well known, 
and verified by the heat of the last summer (1839), when the corn 
was, to a considerable extent, ripened at an early day in Septem- 
ber, even in Berkshire County. It is probable that seed which 
would ripen earlier, or had become better adapted to the climate, 
was planted, and the favorable season early matured it. 

There are many varieties of Indian Corn, of which Maize is the 
South American name ; all of which may be reduced to one 
species. Some are far more hardy than the others. One of this 
kind is mentioned by Nuttall as cultivated by the western and 
northern Indians, and called " Early Mandan Corn." Some grow 
and ripen in England. The value of this grass is immense. Its 
stalks and leaves are excellent fodder for cattle. 

Indian corn was introduced into England in 1562. The spe- 
cies Z. Curagua, W., Cross Corn, from Valparaiso, and which 
parches into a cross-like form, is probably cultivated in some 
parts of the State. 

As our corn is liable to be affected and sometimes cut off by a 
too early frost, it is important to obtain seed from a more north- 
ern section, which will be far more likely to ripen here. Though 
it may bear a smaller ear, the advantage is obvious. But, when 
the crop is injured by the frost, it was clearly ascertained a few 
years since, that more corn was ripened by cutting it up from the 
roots and placing it upright in small collections, than by leaving it 
to stand. In the latter case, the juice of the plant seems to be 
drawn to the root, in the former, to be carried into the kernels on 
the ear, and to bring more of them to maturity. 

The smut of Maize is Uredo zees, Schw., a fungus of danger- 
ous properties. Only a little is produced in our country, and it 
is avoided by animals. It is said to have a deleterious effect on 
those that eat it. 


ORDER 262. CYPERACE.E. The Sedge Tribe. 

This is an extensive assemblage of plants, out of the tropics 
especially, which flourish greatly in the temperate regions. A 
considerable number is found in this State, being those which are 
common to the Northern States. 

Glume or bract commonly solitary, imbricated with perfect 
flowers, sometimes monoecious, rarely dioecious ; stamens vary 
from 1 - 12 ; ovary 1 -seeded, often with bristles rising from its 
base ; style single, 2 or 3-divided ; stems with joints, also many 
without joints. 

The Cyperacese have the general appearance of the grasses, 
and are usually confounded with them. In the young state, 
some of them are food for cattle, though they contain much less 
nutritious matter than the proper grasses. They are found in 
every variety of situation. 

Of the 247 species, credited to North America by Dr. Tor- 
rey, 125 are credited to this State in the " Geology " ; though 
some, perhaps, of the latter, are considered not distinct species 
in the former enumeration. 

Besides the elucidation of the grasses by Dr. Muhlenberg, 
there has been an elaborate Monograph of the Rhynchospora by 
Dr. Gray, in the u Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History of 
New York," and also of the Cyperaceae by Dr. Torrey, in the 
same work. The value of these works can be appreciated only 
by the systematic botanist. Several genera have been more or 
less changed ; but in this Report the older divisions will be re- 
tained. Some new species have been found. 

Dulichium. Richard. 3. 1. 
Spikes somewhat branched, axillary ; spikelets linear-lanceo- 
late ; glumes 2-rowed, sheathing, with a long style ; nut with 
bristles at the base. 

D. spathaceum. Pers. Galingale. Leaves spreading in three 
directions, on a roundish culm, and somewhat tapering, and with 
spreading spikelets from sheaths which are spathe-like, and end in 


short leaves ; a common, large, leafy, tough grass, abounding 
about pools and sluggish waters ; August ; scarcely eaten by 

Cyperus. L. 3. 1. 

A genus of plants of little beauty or apparent utility, though 
the species are pretty numerous. Eleven species are found in 
this State. 

.Spikelets compressed, distinct, 2-rowed ; style falling off early ; 
nut 1, without bristles. 

C. flavcscens. L. Yellow Sedge Grass. Culm 4-10 inches 
high, with upper leaves tall as the culm ; flowers umbel-like with 
short and unequal rays ; grows about marshes in this country and 
Europe ; plant yellowish. 

C. strigosus. L. Grows in low grounds, often more than a 
foot high, and with an umbel nearly simple ; spikelets of many 
flowers ; August and September. 

C. mariscoides, Ell., in Bigelow's Flora. Considered to 
be C filiculmis, Vahl., by Dr. Torrey; and C. castaneus, Big., 
to be a variety of C. Jlavescens. 

C. poceformis. Ph. Abounds in cold, wet, sandy places, on 
the declivities of elevations, and beside roads, with a stem 3-6 
inches high, with reddish-brown, flat spikelets ; forms a dense, 
close-matted covering of the earth, preventing the washing of the 

C. Grayii, Tor., in Mon. Cyp., sp. 21. Was found by Mr. 
Oakes in Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Torrey. 

C. diandrus, T., C. Nuttalii, T., C. dentatus, T., C. inflex- 
ws, Muhl., are also found. 

The species of Cyperus are far more numerous at the South, 
and are generally not employed in agriculture or the arts. The 
roots are rather succulent, and contain a pleasant mucilage. Lind. 


Eriophorum. L. 3. 1. Cotton Grass. 
The name is derived from the Greek for bearing icool, as the 
spikes of flowers and fruit produce many long, woolly hairs, which 
make the plants conspicuous at some distance. They grow in 
wet or marshy situations, and some of them in the deepest and 
coldest marshes, like those in Stockbridge, Becket, Peru, Wen- 
ham, &c. In such marshes are E. alpinum, L., the E. Hud- 
sonianum, Mx., and E. vaginatum, L. Besides these, are the 
more common species, E. cespitosum, Ph., E. Virginicum, L., 
E. polystachyum, L., and E. angustifolium , Richard, which 
have 40-60 long white hairs in each flower. None of these 
plants, which are widely spread over the country, are very abun- 
dant, or applied to any important purpose. A few more species 
are found in Arctic America. 

Rhynchospora. Vahl. 3. 1. 

From the Greek for beak and seed, as the seeds are beaked. 
Loudon. Four species occur in this State. They are nearly 
related to the preceding, and grow about wet places, rising a 
foot or more high, rather rare plants, of little consequence. The 
species are R. alba, Vahl., R. glomerata, Vahl., R. macrostachya, 
Torrey, now made the genus Ceratoschcenus by him ; and R. 
fusca, Roem. and Schult., according to Mon. Cyp., Torrey. 
The species are far more numerous and abundant in the Middle 
and Southern States. 

Sch(enus. L. 3. 1. 

From the Greek for cord, as the plants were twisted into cord- 
age. Loudon. 

S. mariscoides. Muhl. Bog Rush. Another of the kindred 
plants, credited to this State by Dr. Bigelow ; found in " Fresh 
Pond," and also in " Belchertown and Leverett." 

Culm 2 feet high, smooth, or rough with dots, furrowed, leafy ; 
umbel terminal ; leaves channeled ; seed naked, rounded ; July ; 
in bogs. 


Fuirena. Rottb. 3. 1. 
Glumes awned, imbricated into a spike ; petaloid, or perianth 
3-valved, cordate, awned. 

F. squarrosa, Mx., var. pumila^ Torrey, " Mon. Cyp." p. 291. 
Culm 3-6 inches high ; spikes or heads of flowers thick, with 
long involucre leaves ; pond in Tewksbury, B. D. Greene, Esq. 
A newly discovered plant, not announced till the publication of 
the " Mon. Cyp." by Dr. Torrey. 

Psilocarya. Torrey. 3. 1. 
A new genus, and well named. 

P. suipoides, Torrey, " Mon. Cyp." p. 359. Culm smooth 
and leafy ; leaves 6-8 inches long, and grassy ; flowers in 
cymes ; heads of flowers rather acute. 

A new plant, collected by Dr. Little of Boston, the locality 
not precisely known in Massachusetts. It was found also by 
T. A. Greene, Esq., at New Bedford. 

Scirpus. L. 3. 1. Club-rush. 

From the Celtic for rush. More than 40 species of this 
genus are found in the United States, and more than half are 
credited to New England. In this State are 21 species, accord- 
ing to the Geology. A few species are united in the " Mon. 
Cyp." of Torrey. 

The plants are rush-like, rather abundant in water or wet situa- 
tions, commonly without leaves, and with sheathes at the base, 
varying greatly in size and appearance, not often used for fodder 
for cattle in this country. In Scotland, >S. cespitosus is the food 
for cattle from March to May. Loudon. 

Glumes imbricated into a close spike ; seed or nut naked, or 
with bristles at the base. 

£. acicularis, L., embraces also S. trichodes, Muhl., and S. 
capillaceus, Mx., which he credited to New England, and is a 


small and slender plant on the borders of ponds, in dense cespi- 
tose patches and tufts ; a delicate plant. 

S. capillaris, L. and Muhl. Found near Boston ; a small, 
densely cespitose plant, in sandy fields ; occurs also in other 
parts of the State. 

£. subsquarrosus. Muhl. Grows in tufts about 2 inches high, 
capillary, with fine bristly leaves, on sandy banks of rivers ; 

S. intermedins. Muhl. About 2 inches high, cespitose and 
diffuse, strong ; projects from running water. 

S. planifolius. Muhl. Rises 4 or 5 inches high, and has 
wide grassy leaves, rough on their edges, and long as the plant ; is 
spread over the State on cold and hard soils, and in open woods 
or fields ; very different in appearance from the rest of the genus, 
as all remark who notice the plant ; common, but not very abun- 

8. capitatus. Muhl. Grows in muddy bottoms of pools and 
sluggish streams, in clusters, sometimes forming small clumps. 
It is S. obtusu-Sj Willd., and distinguished by its obtuse, sub- 
globose heads of flowers. It is not S. capitatus, L., which 
grows in the Southern States. Torrey. 

S. tenuis, Willd., and S. quadrangulatus, Muhl. Catalogue. 
A slender rush-grass, growing in wet places, and shallow waters, 
leafless, with a slender head of flowers ; 4-8 inches high ; begins 
to flower early in spring ; Boston, Salem, Amherst, Berkshire 
County, and probably throughout the State. 

S. autumnalis. Muhl. Found in situations like the last ; 
Amherst, Boston ; July to October. Culm 8-12 inches high, 
cespitose. This is Fimbristylis, Vahl., from the form of the 


S. tuberculosus. Mx. A stiff plant without leaves, of a light- 
green color ; Salem and Tewksbury, in sandy swamps near the 

$. triqueter, L. and Mx. Has an acutely 3-sided culm, con- 
cave on two sides, slender, 2-4 feet high ; a short leaf or two at 
the base ; grows out of water, in ponds and marshes, fresh and 
salt ; widely diffused ; pond on Taconic Mount, Berkshire Coun- 
ty, Amherst, Boston. S. Americanus. Pers. 

S. maritimus. L. Grows near the sea, or in brackish marshes, 
1-3 feet high, with long and broad leaves, acute and rough on 
the edge. 

The last two are peculiar in their sharp 3-sided culm. The 
last is eaten by cattle, and the dried roots have been used for 
bread. Loudon. 

S. subterminalis. Torrey. From 1 to 3 feet high, its flowers 
projecting near its top from the water, small and slender, with 
long leaves, channeled at their base ; widely spread over the 
State, but first found by Dr. Cooley of Deerfield, and sent to 
Dr. Torrey. 

$. atrovirens, Muhl., and S. brunneus, Muhl., are two large, 
stiff plants, with long leaves, growing in swamps and wet fields, 
and bearing a large cluster of flower-heads, much alike, and yet 
to be distinguished. 

S. eriophorum. Mx. Red Cotton-Grass. Named Tricho- 
phorum cyptrinum, by Persoon, on account of the hairs in its 
flowers, and its resemblance to Cyperus ; a stiff, erect, rank 
grass, 2-5 feet high, smooth and roundish, or obtusely triangular, 
with long, narrow leaves, and bearing a large mass of flowers, 
umbel-like, nodding, and underpropped by several long and stiff 
leaves ; common in swamps and pools, and in rich muddy bottoms 
and banks ; cattle do not eat it. 

S. lineatus. Mx. A smaller plant than the preceding, with 


flowers terminal and lateral ; stem far more triangular, with long 
leaves, rough on the margin ; in bogs. Plainfield ; found by Dr. 

S. debilis. Pursh and Muhl. Grows along streams and in 
ponds, 1-2 feet high, in tufts, without leaves, and its flowers 
projecting some distance from the upper extremity ; Amherst, 
Boston, and Berkshire County. 

S. lacustris, L. and Muhl., and $. acutus, Muhl., are large 
plants, and, if different, much alike; 3-6 feet high, round, 
tapering, rising out of ponds and lakes, often where the water is 
several feet deep ; largest of the rushes ; the former called in 
England bulrush ; used for making mats, for bottoms of chairs, 
for a covering to floors, and for thatching ; stem full of pith, and 
bearing flowers near its upper extremity. 

S. palustris. L. and Muhl. Grows in swamps and wet 
places, variable stem, often 2 feet high, large or small ; common 
also in Europe. 

5. olivaceus. A new species, named by Dr. Torrey, Eleo- 
charis olivacea, Tor. " Mon. Cyp." p. 300, and " nearly allied" 
to the preceding ; found in wet places of sandy soil, and usually 
partly in the water, about a span high, often less, in dense tufts ; 
pond in Tewksbury. B. D. Greene. 

Scleria. Gaertner. 19. 3. 

Monoecious ; glumes 2-6, and in the barren flower the paleae 
are unarmed, and in the fertile are none ; stigmas 1 - 3 ; nut 
colored. From the Greek for rough. 

6. triglomerata. Mx. Whip Grass. Three to four feet 
high, 3-sided and rough, with almost winged angles, and leaves 
about one third of an inch wide ; flowers on the side and at the 
termination ; in swamps and low grounds ; Hadley. 


Carex. L. 19. 3. Sedge Grass. 

From the Latin to icant, because the upper flowers or spikes 
are so often destitute of seeds. The flowers are divided into bar- 
ren and fertile, usually on the same plant, often on the same 
spikelet, and often on separate spikes. 

This is a very extensive genus, a host by itself. One hundred 
and sixty-four species, besides many varieties, and the union of 
several heretofore considered distinct, are credited to North 
America in the " Mod. Cyp." by Dr. Torrey. Eighty-six 
species are enumerated in the u Geology," as found in this State, a 
number probably not too large. It is everywhere a coarse grass, 
and some are very coarse and rough. In the young state, most 
of the species are eaten by cattle, and many are made into coarse 
hay mingled w r ith the proper grasses, while none are cultivated for 
that purpose. The species are found in all situations ; some de- 
light in cold and Alpine districts, and some in the warm soil of 
valleys ; some never leave the woods, some seem to dwell in rich 
cultivated fields, and some flourish as the borderers between these 
two ; some, as C. arenaria, grow only on sand, and become of 
great use in fixing the movable sands ; some never forsake marshes 
and fens, ponds and pools. The flowers are without beauty, in 
rather close masses and spikes, with the fertile flowers in various 
positions, often at considerable distance, at least from the sterile 
ones. The seed is entirely enveloped in a loose, strong cover- 
ing, chaff-like, but without divisions, and which falls off with it. 
The plants vary in size, from an inch or two in height, to 1 - 3 
feet, and sometimes 8 feet high ; but the seed or nut does not 
vary in proportion, and is always small ; in some species it is 
flattish, or lens-like, and in others triangular or 3-sided. 

Glumes single, 1 -flowered, arranged in a close spike, or ament, 
usually monoecious, with a persistent and 1-valved perianth inclos- 
ing the coriaceous nut or seed. 

Botanists differ somewhat in the number of the species of this 

Some of the species have 2 stigmas, or a biparted stigma, and 
others 3, or a 3-parted one ; and this fact forms a very natural 


division. The stamens are variously situated in each of these 
2 divisions ; and this leads to some natural subdivisions. 

I. Stigmas 2 ; seed or nut compressed, ovate, and lenticular. 
Torrey in "Mon. Cyp." p. 387. 

Group 1. Spike 1, often dioecious. 

1. C. exilis, Dewey. Often has stamens at the base of the 
spike ; a new species, found by William Oakes, Esq., in a marsh 
at Danvers, and by Mr. M. A. Curtis, afterwards, at Maiden. It 
has since been found in several places in the State of New York. 

No other species of this group is found in this Commonwealth, 
though some others abound farther north. 

Group 2. Spikes several, often dioecious. 

2. C. sterilis, Willd. In wet, marshy places. 

3. C. bromoides, Schk. Small bogs in marshes. 

4. C. siccata, D. Sandy plains near Westfield. 

Group 3. Spikes several, stamens at the summit. 

5. C. cephalophora, Muhl. Fields and open woods. 

6. C. muricata, L. A European species, lately discovered 
by B. D. Greene, Esq., near Boston. 

7. C. cephaloidea, D. Fields and hedges ; differs from 
C. muricatd) of which it has been called a variety, and very dis- 
tinct from C. cephalophora, of which it is made a variety in 
"Mon. Cyp." p. 389. 

Spikelets 5-7, aggregated into a thick spike, the lower 2 often 
a little remote ; fruit ovate, short-rostrate, scabrous on the upper 
half, 2-toothed, plano-convex ; scale of the fruit ovate acutish, 
short, scarcely half as long as the fruit ; stigmas 2 ; spikelets with 
stamens at the upper part ; culm acutely 3-sided, leafy towards 
the base, of a yellowish color, and from 1 to 4 feet high, usually 
about 2 feet ; June ; hedges, open woods, or fields. 

Stem is sometimes decumbent from its weight ; grows highest 
in hedges ; fruit falls off early. This plant was placed under 
C. muricata, because it was nearer that, and from a desire not 
to multiply species. There is little doubt that it was blended 
with his C. ccphalophora by Muhlenberg ; but it cannot belong to 
that plant. It is much nearer C. sparganioides in spikelets and 


fruit, but differs far too much. It seems proper to give it due 
rank among its kindred species. 

8. C. rosea, Schk. Moist fields. 

var. radiata, D. Moist woods or shaded places. 

9. C. retroflexa, Muhl. Open, moist woods. In making these 
two distinct, the authority is Schk. and Muhlenberg. 

10. C. JWuhlenbergii, Schk. In dry fields and pastures. 

11. C. sparganioides, Muhl. Cultivated fields. 

12. C. multiflora, Muhl. Meadows and moist pastures, 
var. microsperma, D. Do. do. 

This is C. vulpinoidea, Mx. 

13. C. stipata, Muhl. Wet places : variable. Much resem- 
bles C. vulpina, L., though much smaller than the European 

14. C. cetacea, D. Wet meadows ; between the last two, 
and distinct from both. 

15. C. paniculata, L. In pond holes ; little branching. 

16. C. teretiuscula, L. Do. 

17. C. disperma, D. Wet places at the foot of hills. 

Group 4. Spikes several, stamens at the base. 

18. C. Deioeyana, Schw. Open woods. Found throughout 
the Northern States, into Canada and the Frigid Zone. 

19. C. trispermct) D. Small tufts in wet, shaded places. 

20. C. tellulata, Schreb. Wet fields. 

21. C. scirpoides, Schk. Wet and marshy places. 

22. C. curta, Good. Wet bogs. 

23. C. scoparia, Schk. Dry and moist situations. 

24. C. lagopodioides, Schk. About wet places. 

25. C. straminea, Willd. Fields and pastures, 
var. minor, D. Do. do. 

26. C. tenera, D. Wet fields. Related to the preceding, 
but often is quite different. 

27. C. cristata, Schw. Moist fields. 

28. C. mirabilis, D. Hedges and fields, dry. 

29. C. festucacea, Schk. Cultivated grounds. Larger, and 
club-shaped spikes, and different fruit and seeds from the two pre- 
ceding, which it resembles. 


Group 5. Stamens and pistils on distinct spikes. 

1. Staminate spike single. 

30. C. aurea, Nutt. On wet grounds ; small and fine. 

— pyriformis, Schvv. In this State is no other species of 
this sub-group. 

2. Staminate spikes 2 or more. 

31. C. acuta, L. Bog Sedge. Grows in dense bogs ; culm 
rises 2-3 feet, arching as the seed ripens, very rough, 3-sided, 
and with rough leaves, very rough on the edges, and long leaves 
from towards the base. It forms some early food for cattle in 
the spring. What are called bogs, which it forms, are large, grow 
up a foot to 2 feet from the surface, very durable, and destroyed 
only by cutting them off and heaping them together till the fer- 
mentation shall destroy them. 

var. erecta, D., and sparsiflora, D., are scattered plants, 
in wet places, but not forming bogs. 

32. C, ccespitosa, L. In dense cespitose masses. 

33. C. aquatilis, Walk. Borders of ponds. 

34. C. stricta, Gooden. About marshes ; very glaucous in 
the young state'. 

35. C. crinila, Lam. In moist grounds. 

36. C. paleacea, Wahl. In dry meadows. 

II. Stigma 3-parted ; seed or nut 3-sided. " Cyp. Mon." 
Torrey, p. 402. 

A. Spikes androgynous. 
I. Stamens at the summit. 

Group 6. Single spike on the culm. 

37. C. polytrichoides, Muhl. Wet places ; cespitose. 

38. C. leucozlochin, Ehrh. Marsh in Ashfield. 

— pauciflora, Light, and Schk. 

Group 7. One or more radical peduncles with a single 
spike, sometimes 2 or more. 

39. C. pedunculata, Muhl. Open woods ; early in spring. 


2. Stamens at the base of the spike. 

Group 8. Spike 1, sometimes more. 

40. C. squarrosa, L. Moist fields ; Hadley. 

B. Terminal spike androgynous, pistillate at the summit ; the 
others pistillate. 

Group 9. Pistillate spikes 2 or more. 

41. C. virescens, Muhl. Borders of meadows, 
var. costata, Schw. and Tor. Do. 

42. C. hirsuta, Willd., C. triceps, Mx. Moist meadows, 
var. pedunculata. Tor. Do. 

43. C. Buxbaumii, Wahl. Do. 

44. C. formosa, D. Do. 

45. C. gracillima, Schw. Do. and dry. 
— digitalis, Schw. and Tor. " Mon. Cyp." 

46. C. Torreyana, D., is changed to C. Davisii, Tor. Do. 

C. Staminate spike single and distinct from the pistillate. 

Group 10. Pistillate spikes sessile, or with inclosed 

47. C. pubescens, Muhl. Meadows and fields. 

48. C. vestita, Willd. Dry fields in Hampshire County. 

49. C. prcecox, Jacq. Salem ; Dr. Pickering. 

50. C. flava, L. Moist meadows. 

51. C. tentaculata, Muhl. A variety was called C. rostrata, 
Schk., not of Mx. Wet. 

52. C. lupulina, Muhl. Hop Sedge. A large, strong plant, 
with a culm from 1 to 2 feet high, and with long leaves, es- 
pecially those that come out under the flower. The barren spike 
terminates the culm ; the fruit-bearing spikes are long and large, 
and resemble the h>p in form ; grows in wet places, and around 
pools of water ; common ; June. 

53. C. folliculata, Schk., is C. intumescens, Rudge. Wet. 

54. C. varia, Muhl., C. Pennsylvanica, Lam. Fields. 
var. pedicellala, D. In tufts. 

55. C. marginata, Muhl. Open woods. 

56. C. Davisii, D., changed to C. Emmonsii, D. Dry hills. 



57. C. Novce-Jlnglias, Schw. Saddle Mount and Ashfield. 

— collecta, D., is a taller variety ; meadows on hills. 

Group 11. Spikes exsertly pedunculate. 

58. C. plantaginea, Lam. Plantain-leafed Sedge. Grows 
in light soil, along hedges and in open woods. The leaves an 
inch wide and radical, are strongly ribbed, like plantain leaves, 
and live through the winter, spread out on the ground. From the 
root spring several leafless culms, brownish, with sheaths round the 
flower, stalks ending in a short bract-like leaf; not abundant ; May. 

59. C. anceps, Muhl. Fields and woods. 

— plantaginea, Muhl. Do. 

60. C. blanda, D. Moist meadows. 

— conoidea, Muhl., C. anceps, Tor. " Mon. Cyp." 

61. C. conoidea, Schk. Moist meadows. 

— tetanica, Schw. and Tor. 

62. C. granulans, Muhl. Meadows and pastures. 

63. C. tetanica, Schk. Meadows ; Stockbridge. 

64. C. oligocarpa, Schk. Moist, open woods. 

— digitalis, Schw. and Tor. 

65. C. laxiflora, Lam. Meadows. 

66. C. Hitchcockiana,T>. Saddle Mount ; borders of fields ; 
abounds in New York and Kentucky. 

67. C. binervis, Sm. Near Boston ; B. D. Greene, Esq. 

68. C. Greenii, D. In honor of B. D. Greene, Esq., who 
discovered it near Boston. 

69. C. Jlexuosa, Schk. Wet places. 

70. C. sylvatica, Huds. Moist open woods. 

71. C. scabrata, Schw. Beside brooks. 

72. C. xanthophxjsa, Wahl. Mountain swamps. 

— folliculata, L. Dr. Gray. 

73. C. setifolia, D., C. alba, L., var. setifolia, D. Woods. 

74. C. miliaris, Mx., C. Oakesiana, D. Tewksbury Pond. 

Group 12. Pistillate spikes pedunculate, and scarcely 

75. C. miliacea, Muhl. Moist meadows. 

76. C. hystericina, Willd. Marshy places. 

77. C. pseudo-cyperus, L. The culm ends in 1 barren spike, 


small and slender ; 3 fertile spikes, long, cylindric, pendulous, 
and densely flowered, with long stiff leaves directly under the 
spikes, and long leaves rough on their edges towards the root ; 
color yellowish-green ; in dense tufts, beside ponds or slow 

78. C. limosa, L. Marshes in Stockbridge, Becket, &c. 
var. irrigua, Wahl. Do. 

rariflora, Wahl. Do. Becket. 
livida, Wahl. Do. do. 

oblonga, Wahl. Do. do. 

79. C. pallescens, L. Meadows dry or moist. 

80. C. umbellata, Schk. Dry fields. 
var. vicina, D. Do. 

D. Staminate spikes 2 or more. 

Group 13. Pistillate spikes sessile or pedunculate, and 
sometimes staminate at their summit. 

81. C. trichocarpa, Muhl. Beside slow streams, 
var. turbinata, D. Ponds. 

82. C. filiformis. Good. Marshes ; rush-like leaves. 

83. C. pellita, Muhl. Do. leaves flat. 

84. C. lacustris, Willd. Marshes and ponds. 

85. C. retrorsa, Schw. Pondholes. 

86. C. Schweinitzii, D. Wet places ; sandy. 

87. C. vesicaria, L. Marshes. 

88. C, ampullacea. Good. Marshes. 

89. C. bullata, Schk. Beside marshes, 
var. cylindracect) D. Do. 

90. C. longirostris, Torrey. Light soil of banks and hedges ; 
discovered at Sheffield, Berkshire County, and since found in 
many other places, Westfield, Amherst, &c. 

91. C. polymorpha, Muhl. Westfield; dry fields. Most of 
the specimens have 2 or more staminate spikes, and the summit 
of the pistillate partially staminate. 

The species of this genus seem to have few useful properties. 
The leaves of large species are used in Italy to bind wine-flasks, 
and by chair-makers and coopers, as the rush and cat-tail. Loudon. 


Their multitude of seeds doubtless yields food to many insects and 
smaller animals. In other respects, too, they, as well as other 
plants of little apparent value, must be exerting a favorable influ- 
ence in the great economical purposes of the Creator. 

In conclusion, it cannot be expected that all the plants, indi- 
genous or cultivated, have been mentioned. Enough have passed 
under review to convince us of the vegetable riches of this Com- 
monwealth, and to lead to gratitude for the munificent bounty of 
their great Author. 









Adder Tongue, 









Alisma, . 


A'llium. . 


Althae'a, . 


, Globe, 

Amaranth Tribe, 



















A^pium, . 







Arabia Tribe, 









. 127 

















. 126 








A^rum Tribe, 




. 238 





AsCLEPIA V DE.a;, . 

. 145 






. 208 


















. 237 


Avens Root, 




Ballota, . 






Balsam, . 



A .-.-.lo ' 


- .ippie, 





































Beggar Ticks, 






Bell Flower, 



Bell Flower Tribe, 



Bell Wort, 












Bindweed Tribe, 





02, 150 


Birthwort Tribe, 



Bishop Weed, 






Blackberry, . , 




Blazing Star, 

Blitum, . 


Blue Curls, 

Blue-eyed Grass, 



Borage Tribe, 






Euck Bean, 


Buckwheat Tribe, 


, Small, . 

" , Viper's, 


Bulrush Tribe, 
Burnet Tribe, 

, Saxifrage, 

Burr Maryyold, 

Reed," . 

Bush Clover, 

. Trefoil, 

Butterfly Weed, 




Cakile, . 






Caltha, . 





Cancer Root, 

Candy Tuft, 


Caper Tribe, 




Cardinal, Flower 

Cardinal Flower, 







Castor-oil Bean, 







Catnsp, . 


Cat Tail, 






























Chickweed Tribe, 


Chick Wintergreen, 









































Cohosh, . 


Co'lchicum Tribe, 


Colic Weed, 


Collinsonia, . 


Colt's Foot, 










Compound Flowers, 


Cone Flower, 
















Coral-toothed Root, 




Corn, Broom, 


, Coffee, 


, Indian, 




Corn-Flag Tribe, 








, False, 

Cow Parsnip, 

Cow Wheat, 

Crane's Bill, 






Crowfoot Tribe 








Culver Root, 







Dahlia, . 




, Dwarf, 


Datura, . 


Dead Nettle. 

Deer Grass, . 








Diosco v re^:, 




Ditch Moss, . 




Dog's Bane, 




Dragon's Head, 



Duck- weed, 
Duck-weed Trib] 




Dyer's Weed, 


. 186 


Egg Plant, 










. 245 


fly m us, 



Enchanter's Night-shade, 







. 188 






. 157 





. 217 












. 123 








Evening Primrose Tribe, 




. 125 






False Aloe, 

. 208 




Fennel Flower, 









Fig-Marigold Tribe, 




. 157 


Fig wort Tribe, 




. 131 


Five-finger, . 



Flat Top, 

. 121 


Flax Tribe, 









, Marsh, 

. 125 


Floating Heart, 




. 223 


Fool's Parsley, 



Forget-me not, 

. 186 


Forked Chickweed, 




. 159 


, False, 






Frog-bit Tribe, 




. 257 











Fumitory Tribe, 








. 179 




K c 9 


. 143 








Gay Feather, 



Genista, . 







Gentian Tribe, 





Geranium Tribe, 










Goat's Rue, . 

Golden Club, 


Gold of Pleasure, 

Gold Thread, 



Goose Foot Tribe, 



Gourd Tribe, 


Grass Tribe, 

, Bent, 

, Blackseeded 

, Blue, 

, Bottle, 

, Cotton, . 

-, Couch, 

, Crab, 

, Cut, 

, Darnel, 

, Dog's tail, 

-, Drop-seed, 

— , Dwarf Millet 
- — , Feather, 
— , Fescue, 

— , Floating 
— , Fiorin, 
— , Forked Spike 
— , Fox-tail, 
— , Hair, 
— , Lime, 
— , Meadow, 
— , Oat, 
— , Orchard, 
— , Panic, 

, Paspalon, 

, Pink, 

, Quaking, 

, Ray, 

, Red Cotton, 

, Reed, 


, Reedy, 

, Ribbon, 

, Rough, . 

, Rye Broom, 

, Sedge, 

, Seneca, 


234, 239 

Grass, Spear, 
, Spike, 

Sweet Vernal, 
— , Tall Oat, 

, Tickle, 

, Timothy, 

, Whip, 

, White-top, 

, Wire, 

, Woolly Soft, 

, Wrack, 

, Yellow Sedge, 

Greek Valerian Tribe, 
Green Briar, 
Ground Cherry, 



Hairy Tower Mustard, 


Hawkweed, . 

. False, 

Hedge Hyssop, . 







Hemlock, American, 

, Poison, 







Herb Robert, 







Hone wort, 





Horse Balm, 
Hound's Tongue, 


Ilydropcltis, . 





. 168 

Ligusticum, . 









Lily Tribe, 


. 192 

Lily, . 



, Garden, 


. 177 

, Jacobea, 







Li'nejE, . 






Listera, . 

Indian Fig Tribe, 



Indian Cucumber, 




. 205 




Lobelia, . 


. 194 


Pris, . 


Lolium, . 


. 181 

Loose Strife, . 



Loose Strife Tribe 




IVa, . 



Jacob's Ladder, 

. 210 

Lunaria, . 





. 202 

Lupine, . 



Lupinus, ; 




King's Spear, 


Ly'chnis, . 


. 141 





Knawel Tribe, 







. 101 




Krigia, . 

. 118 

Madder, . 
Madder Tribe, 



Malaxis, . 


. 119 


Ladies' Slipper, 


Malope, . 


. 200 










Marsh Elder, . 


. 183 



. 183 


Leadwort Tribe, . 


Marvel Tribe, 

Lechea, . 





, African, 

Leersia, . 

. 249 

Matrimony Vine, 



May Apple, . 


. 226 




Meadow Parsnip, 



-- Rue 



. 178 






. 162 





Lettuce, . 

. 119 


-- , Wild, 




. 121 





Page 1 

Mercury, . 


Mermaid Weed, 


Onopordum, . 




Microstylis, . . t 








O'rchis, . ■ 

Milium, . 

. 248 

O'rchis Tribe, . 

Milkweed Tribe, . 



Milkwort Tribe, 

. 76 





Mimulus, , . 

. 158 


Mint, . 



Min Tribe, 

. 174 




Oxali'de^e, . 

Mitella, . 


O'xalis, . 



Mollugo, . 



Moluccella, . 


Painted Cup, 


. 113 





Monkey Flower, 

. 158 


Monk's" Hood, 


Papavera^ce-e, . 


. 106 


Monotropa, . 



Morning Glory, . 

. 150 

Parnassus Grass, 

Motherwort, . 




. 186 

Passion Flower Tribe 

Mud wort, . . 


Passion Flower, . 


. 247 





Mustard, . 


Pea Tribe, . 

7— IHedge, 




. 186 







. 223 





Narci'ssus Tribe, 

. 193 


Nasturtium, . 


, False, 

Nastu'rtium Tribe, 





1 enthoium, 

Nepeta, . 

. 177 




Peppergrass, . 

Nettle Tribe, 





Pepper, Red, . 


. 169 






. 165 

Phalaris, . 

. , Deadly, 



Nightshade Tribe, 

. 164 

Pheasant's Eye, . 





. 104 

Phlox, . 





. 104 




Phytolacca, . 

Nymph^a^ce^:, . 


Phytola'cce^e, . 

Oat, . 



, Wild, 

. 237 


Oats, Water, . 




. 183 

, Wild, . 




Pink Root, 


. 172 

Pinweed, . . 



Pipe Wort, 

Piptatherum, . 





Plant.iin, . 










Poke Tribe, 


Polyanthes, . 


Poly'gonum, . 





Poppoose Root, 






■ , Sweet, 





Prickly Pear, 

Primula, . 



Primrose Tribe, 



Psamma, . 




Purslane Tribe 



Py'rola, . 
Pyrola v ce,e, . 

Queria, . 


• , Horse, 

Ranunculus, . 






Raspberry, ... 59 


Rattle Box, 



Rattle Triee, . 



Rattlesnake Violet, 



Reed, . 



Reseda, . 



Restia^ce^:, . 



Rheum, . 









Rhinanthus, . 



Rhubarb, . 






Rib-grass Tribe, 



Rice, Mountain, 



— , Wild, 






Rocket, . 



Rock Rose Tribe, . 



























Rue Tribe, 



Rue, . 



Rumex, . 







. 203 


, Bog, . 



Rush Tribe, 



Ruta, . 






Rve, . 



— -, Wild, 

. 244 






Saffron, . 

123, 195 


Sage, . 





















— , Black, . 






Samolus, . 

. 154 








Sanguinaria, . 







Sanicle, . 





Sanicula, . 











Sarrace^nie/e, . 








Saxffraga, . . .45 




Spearwort, . 



Spergula, .... 

Scabious Tribe, 


Spider wort, 

Scabish, . 


Spiderwort Tribe, 












Spinach, .... 






Spring Beauty, . 






Squash, .... 

Screw Stem, . 


St. John's Wort, 



Stachys, .... 



Star of Bethlehem, 

Scullcap, . 



Scurvy Grass, 


Grass, . . 

Sea Arrow Grass, 


Starkea, .... 



Statice, . . 



Stellaria, .... 

Teasel Grass, 


Stella^tje, . 



Stipa, . . . _ 



Stone Crop, . 

Sedge Tribe, 





Strawberry, . 

Self heal, 





, False, 

Senecio, . 

. 131 





Setaria, . 


Summer Savory, 

Shell Flower, 



Shepherd's Purse, 


Sundew Tribe, 






Sun Flower, 

Side-saddle Flower, . 


Sweet Flag, . 




Silk Weed, . 



Sinapis, . 














Skunk Cabbage, 


Tape grass, 


. 210 

Tare, .... 



Teasel, . 



Tephrosia, . . . 

Snake Root, . 



. -, Black, 


Thalictrum, . 



Thcsium, .... 

-, White, 


Thistle, . . 12( 

Snapdragon, . 


, Cotton, . 


. 132 


Snow-drop, . 


Thorn Apple, 






, Climbing, 


. 165 

Thread-Foot, . 



Thyme, . 

Solomon's Seal, . 

. 212 

, Virginia, 



Thy v mus, . 


. 252 



Tickseed Sunflower, 


. 219 

Toad Flax, False, 



Tobacco, . . 



Tobacco Pipe, 

Tomato, . 

Tooth-root, . 






Trichodium, . 












Tulip, . 

Tulipa, . 



Twayblade, . 

Ty^pha, . 

Typha^ce.e, . 




Unicorn Plant, 








Valerian, Greek, 



Vegetable Oyster, 

Venus' Fiide, . 








Vervain Tribe, 





Violates:, . 








































Violet Tribe, 
Virginia Stem Cress, 
Virgin's Bower, 

Wake Robin, 
Wall Cress, . 


Water Arum, 




Leaf, . 



Parsnip, . 


Plantain, . 


Shield, . 

Star, . 

Water Leaf Tribe, 
Water Plantain Tribe 
Wheat, . 
White Weed, . 
Whitlow Grass, . 
Wild Basil, . 






Willow herb, . 

, Swamp, 

Wind Flower, 
Winter Cress, 
Winter Green, 
Winter Green Tribe, 
Wood Sorrel, 
Wood Sorrel Tribe, 
Worm Seed Tribe, 
Wormwood, . 



Yam Tribe, . 
Yarrow, . 

Yellow-eyed Grass, . 
Yellow Rattle, . 
Yellow Seed, 

Zizania, . 















To George B. Emerson, Esq., 

Chairman of the Zoological Commission 1 

In the execution of the trust committed to my hands, that of making 
known the Quadrupeds of the State, I have been governed by the 
principle, that general utility was the object to be aimed at. In view 
of the present state of our knowledge, I concluded, not without much 
hesitation, that this object would be best secured by a faithful and 
accurate description of the animals within our borders. This con- 
clusion was forced upon my mind, when I found it necessary to study 
the characters of animals with a view to their recognition ; for I saw, 
in the course of my investigations, that little had been done in the 
application of distinctive characters, and that, therefore, in this par- 
ticular part of science, there was a field which required cultivation. 
Having adopted these views, it became necessary that I should in- 
vestigate, examine, and describe for myself those animals in the 
branch of Natural History which had been assigned me. Of the 
execution of this task, all that I desire to say is, that it will be found 
accurate and true to nature. I may not have been sufficiently minute 
in the description of some of the most characteristic parts, as the teeth, 
for example. Still, I believe that the most essential characters are 
given. In drawing up generic and specific characters, I have studied 
brevity as far as I deemed it useful. My general descriptions and 
observations, I might have extended to a much greater length ; but, 
in this particular, I have attempted to avoid extremes. Of the de- 
scriptions, characters, observations, and dimensions, I remark, gen- 
erally, that they are my own, and that they are given from actual in- 
spection, and with the objects before me at the time they were penned ; 
a few instances only have occurred in which I have not had the speci- 
men before me from which I could draw up a description. In those 
instances, I have, of course, relied upon the most approved authority. 
As it regards the additions to our Fauna, I may remark, that I have 
been able to add only two new species. Both of these belong to the 
genus Arvicola, under which they will be found described. From 


this statement, it will be seen that I have not been very successful in 
the discovery of new species. There are, undoubtedly, several among 
the small quadrupeds yet to be added, but I have not been fortunate 
enough to make many such discoveries myself. 

In preparing this Report, I have made use of the excellent work of 
Richardson on the northern animals of this continent, also of the 
work of Mr. Bell, whose ordinal names I have adopted ; both of whom 
have also essentially aided me in drawing up generic and specific 
characters. Of American authors, Harlan and Godman have been 
of essential service. With the publications of Dr. Backman of 
Charleston I was unacquainted till most of the Report was written, 
and was only able to avail myself of his labors upon our Squirrels. 
In justice to the authors already mentioned, as well as others, it be- 
comes me to remark, that I may have made a greater use of them 
than appears in this acknowledgment ; and when this may seem to be 
the case, in the perusal of the Report, I trust that it will not be con- 
sidered a design to commit depredations on the property of others who 
have labored, and more efficiently too, in the same field, but an over- 
sight, arising, it may be, from neglecting to make the references at the 
proper time. Of unpublished works, Dr. J. E. De Kay's "Report on 
the Animals of New York " has been quite useful. More especially, 
however, am I indebted to him for personal observations on many of 
our Mammalia. 

On comparing the old Catalogue with the one I have drawn up, it 
will be seen that there are several important alterations ; all of which 
were unquestionably necessary. Many of these were made by Dr. 
De Kay, whose name is familiar not only in this country, but in Eu- 
rope, and whose authority is acknowledged by the naturalists of the 
old and new world. 

In this Catalogue, I have been averse to the admission of doubtful 
species, or those which I did not know, from personal observation, to 
have been found within the limits of the State, excepting those which 
are well known to have been extirpated. There are a few, however, 
which I have admitted, which I have not actually seen in Massachu- 
setts ; but, having seen them under circumstances which satisfied me 
that they were residents, if we may rely on the laws which govern the 
distribution of animals, I have admitted them as such. Living, as I do, 
in a corner of the State, at a distance from the sea coast, it is probable 
that there are several smaller quadrupeds, inhabiting the salt marshes 
and other secluded places, which are well known to other naturalists, 


but of which I am entirely ignorant ; these, however, cannot amount 
to more than three or four species. I consider, therefore, that the 
following Catalogue is very nearly an accurate list of the quadrupeds 
of Massachusetts. 




Vespertilio pruinosns. 

" Noveboracensis. 

M Caro!inensis. 

Family SO Rl CI DJE. 
Sorex brevicaudis. 

Family T ALP I DJE. 
Scalops Canadensis. 
Condylura longicaudata. 
'* macroura. 

Family URSIDJE. 
Ursus Americanus. 
Procyon lolor. 

Family CAMDJE. 
Canis lupus. 
Vulpes fulvus. 
" Virginianus. 

Family FELIDJE. 
Lyncus borealis. 

" rufus. 
Felis concolor. 

Mustela Canadensis. 

" martes. 
Putorius vison. 
* vulgaris. 
" Noveboracensis. 
Lutra Canadensis. 
Mephitis Americana. 


Castor fiber. 
Fiber Zibethicus. 

Lepus Americanus. 
" Virginianus. 

Arvicola hirsutus. 

" albo-rufescens. n. sp. 
" Emmonsii. n. sp. 
Mus musculus. 
" rattus. 
" decumanus. 
Arctomys monax. 
Sciurus leucotis. 
" vulpinus. 
" niger. 
" Hudsonius. 
11 striatus. 
Pteromys volucella. 
Gerbillus Canadensis. 

Hystrix dorsata. 

Cervus alces. 
" tarandus. 
" Virginianus. 

It will be perceived that I have omitted in this Catalogue the do- 
mestic animals. I could add nothing to the general stock of informa- 
tion concerning them ; descriptions, therefore, would only have in- 
creased the size of this Report, without increasing its value. The 


most important omissions, however, are those which relate to the Seals 
and Whales. The same reason has operated to produce this result, as 
in regard to our domestic animals. I could only copy what others 
had written ; no opportunities have occurred by which I could make a 
single observation. I have, therefore, preferred to leave these sub- 
jects entirely untouched, though the Report appears, in consequence 
thereof, incomplete. 


With the highest respect and esteem, 

Albany, April 1, 1840. 

Note. The measurements given in this Report are in feet, inches, 
and tenths. 



The class Mammalia is divided by Cuvier into eight orders. 
The first is Bimana, of which man is the type. The second is 
Quadrumana, including animals with four hands ; it is entirely 
wanting in the United States ; no monkey, according to the best 
naturalists, has been observed beyond the twenty-ninth degree of 
north latitude. The succeeding order embraces numerous species 
which are widely distributed. They are characterized as follows : 


Characters of the order. Animals feeding mostly on animal 
food ; destitute of a thumb which is capable of free motion, and 
opposable to the toes ; possess three kinds of teeth. — It is very 
naturally divided into four families, viz. Cheiroptera, In- 
sectivora, Carnivora, and Marsupialia. The first family 
is distinguished by pectoral mammae, and the fourth by abdominal 
pouches. The species of the order Carnivora are exceedingly 
numerous. A more minute subdivision of them is into the follow- 
ing nine families. VEspERTiLioNiDiE, Soricid^:, Talpid^e, 
Ursid^:, Canid^e, Felid^e, Mustelid^:, PhocidjE, and 



Characters of the family. Animals formed for flight, and 
taking their prey on the wing ; nocturnal ; supplied with nails in 
the form of hooks for the suspension of the body. Teeth. In- 
cisors | ; canines 1=1 ; molars fE| or f=f ; = 32 or 36. Su- 
perior incisors in pairs ; the second often minute. Inferior, 


crowded and bilobed ; anterior molars conical, posterior bristled 
with points ; nose without a furrowed, wrinkled and leaf-like 
membrane ; tongue smooth ; membranes extended ; tail entirely- 
enveloped in the interfemoral membrane ; fur soft and thick. 

Observations. Dr. Richardson assigns sixteen species of 
Cheiroptera to North America. Other authors have indicated 
no less than twenty-four. The latter number is considered 
as too high, or as not being sufficiently well characterized. But 
nine species, according to De Kay, have been detected in the 
United States, and five only have been described as belonging 
to the State of New York. 

Genus Vespertilio. 

Generic characters. True grinders fE-J ; without nasal appen- 
dages ; ears at most but little longer, and sometimes shorter, than 
the head. \ 

1. Vespertilio pruinosus. Say. The Hoary Bat. 

Vespertilio pruinosus, Say, Long's Exp., vol. i. p. 168. Richardson, 

Fauna Bor. Amer., p. 1. 
Nycticeius tessellatus, Raf. 
Hoary Bat, Godman, Am. Nat. Hist., vol. i. p. 68. 
Figure ; Ibid. p. 68. 

Specific characters. Dental system ; incisors ±~=± ; canines 
tEEt > molars |=| ; = 30. Color about the ears and front, pale 
tawny ; the remaining parts of the body, including the flanks and 
interfemoral membrane, except a narrow edging of the latter, dark 
ferruginous, intermixed with dusky black on the back, and all 
tipped with white, thus giving it a decidedly hoary appearance. 

Description. The superior incisors are conical and sharp- 
pointed, and separated from each other by a wide space. Inferior 
incisors very short and almost concealed, and in close contact 
with each other. The upper canines are almost twice as high as 
the molars. The nostrils are 2 lines apart, and turned a little 
outwards, and have a raised margin. Ears shorter than the 
head, nearly circular. The form of the tragus is nearly that 


of a scalene triangle, obtuse and arcuated. Interfemoral mem- 
brane triangular, and terminated with a slight projection of the 
tail ; the wing membrane presents some hairy patches above 
the elbow joint, and at the roots of the metacarpal bone ; the 
hind feet are covered with a hoary fur above, and are furnished 
with short, curved claws. 


in. t'ths. 

Length of the head and body, ... 4 

Tail, 2 

Spread of the wings, 15 

Distance between the ears, ... 07 

Observations. This species of Bat is very widely distributed. 
It was first noticed by Mr. Nuttall at Council Bluffs, on the Mis- 
souri ; and Mr. Say describes an individual which was captured in 
the same neighbourhood, in Long's Expedition. According to Dr. 
Godman, it has been taken near Philadelphia. It has also been 
found in Georgia by Major Le Conte, and near Charleston in 
South Carolina by Dr. Backman. Still farther from the place 
of its first discovery, it has been found near Salem, Massachusetts. 
Erom these facts, this fine species may be considered as common 
throughout the United States, and especially on the Atlantic 
coast. Dr. Richardson met with it also as far north as latitude 
54°. Mr. William Cooper, whose opinion is always valuable, 
supposes it may migrate to the South from this high latitude. It 
is sometimes seen on the wing during the day especially in cloudy 

2. Vespertilio Noveboracensis. New York Bat. 

New York Bat, Penn., Syn. p. 367. Idem, Arct. Zool. i. p. 184. 
Vespertilio Noveboracensis, Gmel., Syst. i. p. 50, sp. 21. Harlan, Fauna 

Am., Godman, Am. Nat. Hist. i. p. 68. 
Red Bat of Penn., Wilson, Amer. Orn., plate 50, p. 60. 
Taphozons rufus, Lesson, Mamm. 
Nycticea Noveboracensis, Le Conte, in App. to McMurtrie's Cuvier, i. 

p. 441. 

Figure ; Godman, Am. Nat. Hist. i. p. 68. 

Specific characters. Dental system. Incisors ~± ; canines 
}=} ; molars j=j ; = 30. Color reddish tawny above, varying 



in depth in different individuals ; ears short, roundish, naked on 
the anterior half above, and furnished within with merely a thin 
covering of hairs. 

Description. There is a slight hoary appearance which arises 
from the cream-colored fur which is intermixed with the reddish 
tawny. The reddish tawny prevails on the interfemoral mem- 
brane. Wing membranes naked above, excepting a small spot 
at the base of the thumb and fore fingers. At the insertion of 
the wing is a white mark, which is most conspicuous on the under 
side. Color beneath paler than above. Incisors short, minute, 
crowded, and rise but little above the gum ; nostrils rounded and 
surrounded by a swollen border, and grooved superficially, and 
opening obliquely outwards. 


in. t'ths. in. t'ths. 

Total length, 


. 3 to 3 8 



1 3 " 1 5 

Fore arm, 


. 1 3 " 1 5 



7 " 8 



.10 "11 0, Cooper, Cheirop. U.S. 

Observations. This species is found in Williamstown, and is 
probably more or less common in this State.* Its dental system 
is obscure, and hence there has arisen some discrepancy in the 
descriptions. It varies also in the depth of its color, some in- 
dividuals being much paler than others. During winter it re- 
mains in a torpid state, in caverns and similar places. The 
female is larger than the male, and produces four or five at a birth. 

3. Vespertilio Carolinensis. Carolina Bat. 

Vespertilio Carolinensis, Geoff. St. Hilaire, in Ann. du Museum, viii. p. 193, 
sp. 2. figs., &c. Le Conte, in App. to McMurtrie's Cuvier, i. p. 441. 

Specific characters. Dental system ; incisors ^- ; canines 
!=} ; molars f=f ; = 32. Color a uniform brown, approaching 
to chesnut. Fur beneath yellowish, soft, and glossy, and covering 

* It is also common to New York and Pennsylvania, and is even found at the 
base of the Rocky Mountain*. 


the upper and inferior parts of the head and body. The remain- 
ing parts naked, except a few scattering hairs on the toes. Ears 
large, naked, except near the head, with the tips obtuse, and curv- 
ing outwards, emarginate on the posterior edge ; tragus nearly a 
line broad, linear, obtuse, and destitute of hairs. Last joint of 
the tail free. 


in. t'ths. 

Total length, 3 8 

Tail, 15 

Fore arm, 18 

Tibia, 8 

Spread, 11 1, Cooper, Cheirop. U. S. 

Length of skull, .... 08 

Width over the zygoma, . . . 5 

Observations. This species was taken by one of our College 
students during a warm day in February. The agreement in the 
characters of this individual is so perfect, that I have not hesitated 
to notice it as the Carolinensis, though it is not credited to a region 
so far north as this. Mr. Cooper has frequently procured it on 
Long Island, and, considering the wide range which the preceding 
species take, it is to be inferred that this may also be widely distrib- 
uted. This bat is said to resemble the subulatus, and might be 
mistaken for it, did not the dental system disagree, the latter hav- 
ing six molars in the lower jaw, while the former has only five. 
It is not improbable, that the subulatus is already known to some 
of the naturalists of Massachusetts, inasmuch as it is credited to 
New Hampshire by Dr. Pickering. It has not, however, fallen 
under my notice. 

The noctivagans is another species known in New York, in- 
habiting more especially Long Island. 

Dental system ; incisors — ^ ; canines -]=-}- ; molars £=£ ; 
= 34. It has dark black-brown fur, tipped with white on the 
back, giving it an aspect which at once distinguishes it from the 
preceding species. It is considered as being more common at 
the South than at the North. 

The nocturnal habits of the Bats render their investigation 
somewhat difficult, and probably on this account our known spe- 
cies are so few in number. 


They are undoubtedly useful to man by destroying a great 
number of insects, and probably they are in no way injurious. 
They may be preserved in confinement, and fed on flies and meat. 

The Bat is very acute in the sense of hearing, its external audi- 
tory apparatus being extremely large for an animal so small. This 
large developement is undoubtedly intended to assist it in taking 
its prey during a time when the organs of sight are incapable of 
their fullest exercise. 

FAMILY II. SORICIDJE. The Shrew Family. 

Characters of the family. Insectivorous, or feeding principally 
on worms and insects. They resemble the bats in the disposition 
and form of their teeth, more particularly in their molars. The 
incisors are generally large and robust. Their bodies are cylin- 
drical, and covered with a fine velvety fur of a bluish black, and 
quite glossy in its lustre. They are furnished with a flexible pro- 
boscis, or elongated snout, which projects beyond the incisors, 
and which is employed both in making its passage in the ground, 
and for the conveyance of food to its mouth. Their eyes are 
small and obscure, and concealed in the fur, and their ears scarce- 
ly project, though their hearing appears to be acute. Tail 
moderate in length, and covered with hair. Feet all formed for 
running. Some of the species are furnished with ciliae between 
their toes to aid them in swimming ; they all take more or less to 
the water. All the species subsist on animal food, which they 
require at short intervals. They feed on carrion or putrid flesh, 
and are hence to some extent scavengers. Some species are 
quite pugnacious, so that it is rare to find two together, unless in 
the act of fighting. 

Odor strong and musky, rarely eaten by cats or other animals. 
The musky glands are situated on the sides nearer the anterior 
than the posterior extremities. The water species burrow in the 
banks of streams. They produce from 5 to 8 at a birth. Ani- 
mals all small, and allied to the true Moles both in structure and 

Genus Sorex. Shrew. 
Generic characters. Incisors § ; false grinders -§=-§ ; true 
grinders §=§ ; = 30. Incisors produced in the lower jaw ; base 


horizontal, with the extremity turned into a hook ; snout alternate, 
tail moderately long ; feet all formed for running ; toes weak, 
separate ; teats six or eight ; sebaceous glands on the flanks. 

1. Sorex brevicaudis. Say. Short-tailed Shrew. 

Sorex brevicandis, Long's Exped., i. p. 1G4. Godman, Am. Nat. Hist. i. 
p. 79. 

Figure ; Ibid. p. 81. 

Specific characters. Body dark lead color above ; lighter 
beneath ; ears white, concealed in the fur ; nose emarginate, 
naked ; feet feeble white, first and fifth toes shortest ; tail de- 
pressed, and short. First discovered in Missouri. 


in. t'ths. 

Whole length, 4 5 

Head and snout, 11 

Lower jaw, 7 

Observations. The general character of the species may be 
learnt from the remarks already made. The Shrews are remarka- 
ble for their glandular apparatus, which gives them the strong 
musky odor ; it is supposed by GeofTroy to be connected with the 
sexual appetite, and to serve as a guide to conduct the sexes to 
each other. The species which is described, is retained on the 
authority of the former catalogues. I have not been able, to meet 
with it, and I have some doubts of the existence of this species 
within f he limits of this State. 

Although the Shrews form burrows in the ground, it cannot be 
inferred that they are at all injurious to the agriculturist, but, on 
the contrary, that they are rather beneficial ; at any rate, no 
positive injury is known to be produced by them. There is, 
however, a tradition abroad concerning them, which, if true, 
would justly raise a prejudice against them ; it is this, that if a 
Shrew should run over the leg of a cow or a horse while reposing 
in the grass, it would cause lameness ; for this reason the animal 
is invariably killed when an opportunity occurs. The Shrews, 
like the Moles, are impatient of hunger. All the species form a 
nest of grass in some sheltered place on the surface, among the 


thick herbage, or in a hole in a bank. From the fact, that in the 
summer many are found dead without any external injury, it is sup- 
posed that an annual mortality prevails among them. It is sug- 
gested, however, that it may arise from a deficiency of food pro- 
duced in a dry season by the escape of worms on which they 
feed, either deep in the earth, or into the more distant moist 

The Shrews are extremely expert in the water, darting over 
its surface, or diving to the bottom with the greatest agility. 
While in the pursuit of their food, the least noise or motion dis- 
turbs them, when they escape instantly into their holes in the 
bank. In the specimens of Sorex which have fallen under my 
observation, I have not been able to discover, even with the 
microscope, any nostrils, the termination, or the extremity, of the 
nose being apparently an imperforate membrane. 


Characters of the family. The animal known as the Mole, 
may be considered as the type of the family. The most essen- 
tial characters are derived from the feet and teeth. In the Sori- 
cidae, the feet are formed for running, but in the Talpidae for 
digging ; and so perfect is their construction, that they are enabled 
to make their way in the earth with great rapidity. The means 
of subsistence in both families are much the same ; their favorite 
food consisting of earth-worms and insects, which they require 
almost constantly ; hence their toil is necessarily unremitted, and 
the animal is constantly engaged in burrowing in search of a con- 
stant supply. 

The Soricidae, by the structure of their feet, are much better 
formed for dwelling on the surface, w r hile the Talpidae are almost 
entirely prevented from moving except in their burrows. This 
family embraces three genera, the Talpa. or true mole, which has 
not yet been discovered in the United States, the Scalops and the 
Condylura. The Scalops has no canine teeth, whereas the Talpa 
has two in each jaw, and the Condylura two in the upper only. 
In each genus, the fore feet are palmate ; the fingers are short, 
and are supplied with long and slightly arcuate nails, admirably 
adapted to the removal of earth, and the making subterranean 


galleries. They take to the water readily, and swim rapidly, and 
being supplied with a dense, thick coat of fur, they leave it without 
being wetted. The form of the body is cylindrical, terminating 
anteriorly in an acute snout, which extends beyond the incisors. 
The sight is much less perfect than in the Soricidae ; indeed, the 
eyes appear rather as rudiments of an organ, than as intended for 
the performance of the important function of sight. The nostrils 
are exceedingly small, and invisible in the dried specimens. A 
groove divides the snout into two equal parts. In the Condylura 
the front teeth project forward, while in the Scalops they stand at 
right angles to the jaw, or in the position of human teeth ; besides 
the difference in the position of the teeth, the Condylura is 
furnished with a circular fringe at the extremity of the nose, 
whence it has received the appellation of the Star-nosed Mole. 

Genus Scalops. Cuv. 

Generic characters. Incisors § ; molars t§=t£ > — 44.* 
Snout long and pointed ; fore feet palmate, and formed for exca- 
vation, and concealed in the skin up to the wrists. 

1. Scalops Canadensis. Shrew Mole. 

Brown Mole, Penn., Arct. Zool. i. p. 141. 
Sorex aquaticus, Lin., System. 
Shrew Mole, Godman, Am. Nat. Hist i. p. 84. 
Mole, Lewis and Clark, Journal. 

Figure ; Godman, i. p. 81. 

Specific characters. Color uniformly a light slate ; body elon- 
gated, cylindrical, and tapering rapidly from the insertion of the 
fore feet to the snout, which is elongated and grooved on the 
upper and lower surfaces ; tail short, tapering, and terminated in 
a thin pencil of hair. 

* The number of teeth is stated as only 30 in Stark's " Elements of Natural 
History," an error easily proved by inspecting the mouth of the true Scalops. 
The same author has erred also in giving the dental system of Sorex. There is 
more excuse in th;s case, as the false grinders are small and crowded. 


Description. The upper incisors are white, and stand at right 
angles to the jaw ; they are comparatively wide, and resemble 
the middle incisors in man ; they are also longer and more robust 
than the lower. The grinders have a considerable resemblance 
to those of Bats, being studded, or rather bristled, with points. 
In the specimen before me, there are no vacant spaces between 
the incisors and false grinders. The extremity of the nose is 
naked and grooved. It is a flexible proboscis, capable of exten- 
sion, and is used for the conveyance of food to the mouth. There 
are numerous hair-like, grayish whiskers, both on the upper and 
lower jaw. There is no distinct neck, but a gradual tapering 
from the anterior legs to the nose. The body is long, thick, and 
cylindrical, and having but a slight taper towards the tail. The 
anterior legs are short and stout, and the whole arm and fore-arm 
is concealed beneath the skin. The back of the hand is adpressed, 
and sparsely covered with hair of a lighter color than that upon 
the body. They are situated far towards the anterior extremity 
of the body. Nails white, long, linear-lanceolate, and rather ob- 
tuse, curved above, and slightly hollowed out beneath. Fingers 
extremely short. Posterior extremities smaller by one half than 
the anterior ; nails, somewhat curved, but not hooked ; middle 
one the longest and largest ; palm turned outwards and back- 
wards ; fur light slate, darker beneath, velvety. 


in. t'ths. 

Whole length of the head and body, . . 6 

Tail, 10 

Pencil of hair terminating the tail, . ..05 

Length of the hand, 7 

" middle nail, .... 3 

" foot, 7 

" skull, 13 

Width of the hand, 5 

" foot, 2h 

Observations. This animal is usually met with in low, damp 
places, as such are the most productive of its natural food. The 
whole body is formed for securing strength, and its shape and the 
structure of its limbs fit it admirably for an underground residence. 


It lives on insects and earth-worms, which it obtains by constant 
labor in excavating the earth ; and so perfect are its adaptations, 
that it suffers no fatigue in this constant and laborious pursuit. 

This animal renders some considerable service to man in loosen- 
ing the soil, and in destroying insects which injure the roots and 
herbage of plants. 

It has a great resemblance to the English Mole, and might be 
mistaken for it, if its dental system were not examined. 

The Shrew, says Godman, is the most active in the morning, 
at mid-day, and in the evening ; they come regularly to the surface 
at 12 o'clock. When their habitations are attacked and injured, 
they will repair them ; hence they appear to be attached to their 
habitations. In eating, they employ their flexible snout, with 
which they thrust their food into their mouths by doubling it 

When taken, they become partially domesticated, as they will 
receive their food from the hand, and will follow it when moved 
about in the place of their confinement. 

Genus Condylura. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors § ; canine J~J ; 
molars f^f ; = 38. Fore feet broad, palmate, formed for digging. 
External ears none ; nose crested and slender ; tail long. 

1. Condylura longicaudata. Desm. Star-nose Mole. 

Long-tailed Mole, Penn., Hist. Quad., ii. 

Talpa longicaudata, Erxl., Syst., torn. i. p. 118. 

Condylura longicaudata, Harlan., Faun. p. 38. 

Condylura longicaudata (llliger). Richardson, Fauna Bor. Am. p. 13. 

Specific characters. Color bluish black ; body thick, and 
covered with a thick velvety coat of fur ; head long and tapering ; 
nose furnished with a cartilaginous star-like fringe, with eighteen 
rays in the circumference, and two short bifid ones attached 
beneath the nostrils ; tail long and tapering. 

Description. The color is uniformly bluish black, and the fur 
covering the whole body soft and velvety. The tail is rather 
thick near the body, but becomes slender and tapering towards 


the extremity ; it is covered with short hair. The length of the 
tail is about one third of that of the body. Extremities short and 
robust, especially the anterior ones, which are covered on the 
back with scales intermixed with a few hairs. Posterior ex- 
tremities longer than the anterior, but more slender, and furnished 
with scales and hairs thinly interspersed ; hind claws white, nar- 
now, and sharp pointed. 


in. t'ths. 

Length of die head and body, . . 4 9 

Tail, 2 9 

Head, 13, Richardson. 

Observations. The preceding species is less common than the 
succeeding, indeed, it has not fallen under my observation, while 
the Macroura is quite common. 

2. Condylura macroura. Harlan. 

Condylura Macroura, Harlan, Fauna Am. p. 39. Richardson, Fauna, Bor. 
Am. 284. 

Figure; Ibid., p. 284, plate 24. 

Specific characters. Color bluish black ; fur thick and darker 
beneath ; tail long, thick near the body, and tapering towards the 

Description. The upper incisors project forward, and ap- 
proach each other obliquely from their sockets, leaving a triangular 
vacant space at their roots ; canines conical, longer by one half 
than the succeeding teeth ; canines as well as the false grinders 
hooked a little backwards ; of the latter there are four ; grinders 
four on each side, and bristled with points ; teeth white ; the 
phalanges short ; nails long, standing obliquely to the hand, more 
slender than in the Scalops ; tail long, strangulated at the base, 
and largest about one third its distance from the body ; slightly 
compressed ; pelvis small and narrow ; humerus remarkably thick 
and stout ; clavicles supported by an arch of bones which are 
braced against the sternum ; scapula long and narrow, and with- 
out a broad expansion of bone ; vertebrae somewhat quadrangular, 
rounded on the inner surface ; lower jaw long and slightly arched, 
with the incisors standing forward and forming a small segment of 


its arch, which is convex upwards, accommodating it to the con- 
cavity of the upper jaw. 

Dimensions of the Skeleton. 

in. t'ths. 

Length of the skull, .... 1 6 
Greatest breadth posteriorly, . . .06 
Length of the lower jaw, ... 9 

Tail, 2 9 

Whole skeleton, .... 7 

Observations. By comparing these dimensions with those in 
the " Fauna Americana," it will be seen that there is an essential 
difference. Having, however, the skeleton before me, I am able 
to express myself confidently as it regards the measurement now 
given, and also as to the entire accuracy of the whole description. 

FAMILY IV. URSID^E. The Bear Family. 

Characters of the family. This family is distinguished by the 
form of the feet, being, as it is termed, plantigrade. They have 
the long canine teeth of the true carnivora, but the form of their 
molars is such, that they may feed on roots, grain, &c. Their 
nose or snout is generally elongated. They are capable of sitting 
on their haunches, and using their fore feet in conveying food to 
the mouth. 

Two species only are now known to belong to this State, 
the Black Bear and Raccoon. The Badger may possiby be 
found on the Green Mountain range. My information, however, 
is too imperfect to enable me to speak confidently in relation to 
it. The same may be said of the Gulo, or Glutton. 

Genus Ursus. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors f- ; canines § ; 
molars -fEf > — 42. In the upper jaw the two anterior molars 
small, the three posterior tuberculated, the last of which is the 
roughest. Ears and tail short ; feet plantigrade. 


1. Ursus Americanus. Pallas. The Black Bear. 

Ursus Americanus, Harlan, Fauna, p. 51. 

Black Bear, Penn., Arct. Zool., i. p. 57. Warden, United States, i. p. 195. 

Godman, Nat. Hist., L p. 114. 
Mucquaw, Algonquins. 

Figure; God?nan, i. p. 114. 

Specific characters. Nose on the same line as the forehead, 
which is gibbous ; hair black, straight, and shining. 

Description. The muzzle is often brownish. There are also 
two brown or fawn-colored spots in some individuals over the 
eyes ; hair coarse and black to the roots ; fur brown beneath, 
thick and somewhat curly in the cub ; tail short ; ears high, oval, 
far apart, and rounded at their tips ; palms and soles of the feet 
short in comparison with those of the Brown Bear of Europe ; 
nails long and curved. There is a long, vacant space between the 
first and second molar. First molar situated at the root of the 
canine, both projecting forward. 


The whole length of a full grown individual is not far from 4 feet 10 

1. Skull. 

in. t'ths. 

Length from the incisors to the occipital crest, . . . .112 

Measured over the palatine bones, 9 

From the incisors to the meatus extern us, . . . . 8 2 

Lower jaw from the incisors to the condyles, ... 6 6 

Height of the cranium, 3 8 

Depth of the frontal sinus, 10 

2. Skull. 

Length measured over the skull from the incisors to the occipital 

crest, 13 

Length over palatine bones, 118 

Length from the incisors to the meatus externus, ... 9 8 

Greatest width at the zygomatic arches, .... 72 

Length of the projecting part of the canine tooth, ... 1 

Length from the occipital crest to the extreme of the nasal bones, 11 2 

From one orbit to the other, across the forehead, ... 3 

From one canine tooth to the other at their base, ... 18 

From their tips, 2 


in. t'ths. 

Length of the posterior molar, 10 

Width of the zygomatic space, 2 8 

Length of the lower jaw measured on the outside, . . 8 

Observations. So far as information can be gathered from 
writers or hunters, there is but one species of bear inhabiting the 
New England States. Individuals present, it is true, considera- 
ble diversity in size, color, and form ; but they furnish no perma- 
nent marks by which a distinct species can be formed. Thus, 
some individuals have the fawn-colored spots over the eyes ; 
others are marked with a white stripe along the forehead, or nose ; 
and others still have a white spot beneath the chin. There is also 
a difference in the general color of individuals ; some are much 
blacker than others ; this character, however, varies somewhat 
with the season of the year, as they are always darker in the 
spring. There is too, a marked difference in the length of the 
legs, so much so, that hunters always notice it, and speak of this 
character as marking a distinct variety or kind. The above dif- 
ferences are to be considered as only accidental, and not occur- 
ring with sufficient uniformity to make specific characters. 

The configuration of the cranium of the Bear is a very dis- 
tinctive family mark or character. Thus, the line extending from 
the base of the incisors to the occipital crest, is uniformly arched. 
The length is also great in proportion to the width, or, in other 
words, the skull is deep, narrow, and elongated. In conformity 
with the general form, the axes of the eyes are almost on a line 
with the long axis of the cranium. The middle of the skull is 
narrow, the zygomatic arches long, and the portion occupied by 
the eye small. This arrangement gives a large space for the 
powerful temporal muscles, thus increasing immensely the power 
of the jaws. The Bear subsists principally on fruit, such as 
apples, acorns, and nuts. Grubs and worms are also sought for, 
as is well known by their turning over logs, and removing the 
bark from stumps and decayed trees. Honey and all sweet fruits 
are peculiarly grateful, and furnish for him a rich repast. An 
indication of this is afforded by his selecting, when he visits an 
orchard, the sweetest fruit for his meal. The Bear frequently 
destroys pigs and sheep. He is, however, more injurious to the 


farmer, by his visits to the fields of corn. The time, selected for 
his depredation, is when the corn is soft and in its milk ; he then 
eats much, and breaks down much more. The Bear, when taken 
young, is susceptible of domestication, and becomes playful, 
though, as it increases in age and size, it is apt to take offence, 
plays rather roughly, and becomes rather a dangerous pet. It 
recognises all who may belong to the family ; but, in order to keep 
it in subjection and obedience, the free use of the whip is nec- 
essary, and it learns very soon who is master. 

In the domestic state it does not hybernate, nor can it be com- 
pelled to go into that state. In one instance where two had been 
confined in a hole, and shut in for the winter, it was found that 
the stronger had devoured the weaker, and had become extremely 
thin and poor. Bears in New England go into winter quarters at 
the fall of the first snow, if it is in considerable quantity. Unless 
the ground is covered, however, to the depth of 5 or 6 inches, 
it does not seek a winter retreat. When this has taken place, 
they may be traced to their lodging which they may have selected 
at some previous time. This they approach not directly, but by 
a number of diminishing circles, as if aware that by such routes 
they increase the difficulty of pursuit, and thereby secured a more 
safe resting-place for the winter. The male goes into this retreat 
alone, while the female, if she has cubs, is accompanied by them. 
In arranging themselves for their winter's sleep, the dam places 
herself foremost, or towards the entrance of their retreat, and the 
young immediately in the rear, an arrangement which is intended 
to secure the safety of the family. When their position is once 
taken, it is probable that it is not changed until they are aroused 
by warm weather, as it is invariably found that the old one is always 
in front ; and instances have occurred, where the snow has been 
broken away, and disclosed the old one in her sitting posture, 
though still fast asleep. The precise period, at which the bear 
goes into winter quarters, depends on the fall of snow. If that is 
late, he w r anders about, feeding on mast or acorns, &c, and is very 
often quite poor before his retirement. Occasionally they leave 
their retreats in January or February, if the weather is warm for 
several days in succession. The female goes with young seven 
months, and brings forth pretty uniformly two cubs at a birth. The 


time for parturition is either in January or February, or early in 
March. The young continue with the dam the whole of the first 
year, and part of the succeeding, as they are frequently found in 
company. The cubs, and sometimes an old female, become ex- 
tremely fat ; they have been known to yield sixty pounds of oil. 
The Bear is habitually a great traveller, removing from place to 
place during the summer and fall. His travels, however, are con- 
fined to a certain circuit, unless disturbed, for he seems to go the 
rounds, and follows each time the same beaten track. In his 
travels he frequently turns aside to wallow in mud holes, especially 
when the weather is hot and sultry. When suddenly met by 
man, or any uncommon incident occurs to arrest his attention, 
he rises and stands upright on his posterior legs, and surveys with 
attention the object before him. In this position he reconnoitres 
till he is apprehensive of danger, when he instantly escapes into 
the neighbouring thicket. 

The Bear is a difficult animal to destroy, in consequence of its 
tenacity of life. The skull is so formed, that it very effectually 
protects the brain from injury. The space between the tables is 
at least an inch beneath a large portion of the frontal bone. 
Hence it is a fortunate shot to lodge a ball within the head. 
Bears leave the vicinity of settlements and dwell during the sum- 
mer in the most secluded places, choosing those which are marshy, 
or in the immediate vicinity of lakes and ponds. They are in- 
duced to this procedure by the security it furnishes for rearing 
their young. At the first appearance of corn and cultivated fruits 
and grain, they return to the settlements. In the pursuit of their 
objects, they travel the same routes, which are termed by 
hunters the run-ways. It is near one of these travelled paths, 
that the hunter places his traps, knowing by long experience, that, 
if any are in the neighbouring mountains, they will sooner or later 
come that way, and that they will invariably travel the common 
road. It is often the case, however, that when an old Bear- is 
pursued, instead of leading in the run-way, he selects the worst 
passages that can possibly be found in the whole mountain. He 
will go through the most impassable thickets, over the fallen 
bushy tops of trees, up the steepest cliffs, where it is difficult for 
dogs to pursue, and next to impossible for man to follow. I have 


known them to elude their pursuers for a whole week together, 
and, when finally taken by means of fresh pursuers, it has been found 
that the hard flesh on their feet was worn off to the bone. Such 
instances show that the understanding of this animal is of a supe- 
rior cast ; indeed, Bruin has won himself some celebrity for his 
cunning, and by no means ranks low in the scale of intelligence. 

The Bear is hunted by a half breed of hounds, or by cur-dogs. 
The object of the hunter is to compel him to take to a tree. 
This he is disposed to do when the dog bites him severely behind, 
or annoys him by a continual bark. Sometimes a small coura- 
geous dog is more successful in treeing him than a large one. Their 
strength is great. I have known them, when in the trap, if it be- 
came fixed, to tear off the entire foot at the ancle by one effort, 
and escape on three legs. When attacked, they always rise upon 
their hind legs, or sit upon their haunches, and defend themselves 
by their fore feet, or, we might say, by their arms ; and their 
mode and manner of doing this is effectual to preserve them from 
the most furious attack of many dogs ; some of which get their 
ribs broken, others get severely scratched, and others are 
scalped. But their most effectual way of dealing with their pur- 
suers is to squeeze them in their brawny arms against their bodies. 

The Bear is a stranger in most parts of this State, and proba- 
bly far more common on the Hoosic Mountain range than in any 
other part. It is not many years since great numbers appeared 
there at once, and between twenty and thirty were taken in 
the course of one autumn, on the mountains in Adams and Wil- 
liamstown. They are still to be found, and several have been 
taken every year since. 

The valuable parts of this animal are its oil and skin ; the oil 
sells for about one dollar per pound. The skins vary in value 
from four dollars to twelve. A Bear-skin robe which is made 
out of the best parts of good skins, sells for from thirty to fifty 
dollars. These robes wear much longer than those of the Buffalo, 
being in texture much stronger, and more impervious to rain ; 
and, besides, they are considered much handsomer and richer in 

The Ursus Americanus inhabits every wooded district on the 
American continent, and is found in the whole range between the 


Atlantic and Pacific Oceans ; and from the shores of Carolina to 
the Arctic seas. 

Hence he may be considered as one of the most widely 
distributed animals of the globe. Undoubtedly his constitution is 
fitted more particularly for a temperate climate ; still his thick coat 
of fur effectually enables him to inhabit the cold regions of the 
North, and secures him a safe residence wherever food can be 
procured. Being an eater of vegetables as well as of flesh, he is 
still better enabled to take this wide range of territory, than most 
of the mammalia, man excepted. 

Genus Procyon. Storr. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors J ; canines § ; 
molars |=| ; — . 40. The last three grinders of each jaw tuber- 
culated ; feet pentadactyle ; nails sharp ; muzzle pointed ; ears 
moderate ; tail long ; six ventral mammae. 

1. Procyon lotor. Cuv. The Raccoon. 

Ursus lotor, Lin. Gm., i. p. 103. Harlan, Fauna, 54. 

Le Raton, Buffon, viii. pp. 337, t. 43. 

Procyon lotor, Cuv., Reg. An., i. p. 143. Sabine, Franklin's Jour., p. 

649. Harlan, Fauna, p. 53. 
The Raccoon, Godman, Nat. Hist., i. p. 163. 
Figure ; Ibid., p. 161. 

Specific characters. Fur brownish ; muzzle black, naked, and 
flexible ; a wide black or dark-brown band passes through each 
eye and cheek ; another of a similar color passes between the eyes, 
and is continued upon the forehead ; lips black ; pupils of the 
eyes circular ; ears erect, elliptical, with rounded tips, which, 
together with their edges, are of a soiled white ; tail ringed and 
bushy like the fox. 

Description. The Raccoon has a round head, tapering and 
terminating in a rather acute snout, which projects considerably 
beyond the mouth. The dark bands, passing through the eyes 
and over the forehead, impart to the animal a very characteristic 
look. The general color is more or less gray, which is produced 
by a mixture of brown, black, and dirty white hairs. The back 


is a grizzled brown, its fur consisting of a mixture of dirty white, 
ringed with black. The belly is considerably paler. The tail is 
long, pendant, and bushy, and has generally 5 dark rings around 
it. The extremities are short, and all the feet are provided with 
five toes, armed with strong nails. The animal is full-bellied, 
especially at its flanks, and, as it is partially plantigrade and its 
posterior extremities are longer than the anterior, it makes rather 
an awkward appearance when walking. It walks generally upon 
its toes, but, when it sits, it brings the whole of the sole of the 
foot upon the ground ; it easily assumes the sitting posture of the 
Bear, erects, and feeds itself with its paws. 


ft. in. t'ths. 

Length of the head and body, 2 

" " head, 6 

" " tail, 9 5 

Height of the back, [Richardson) 110 


Length from the incisors to the occipital spine over the frontal bone, 5 3 
" " " to the foramen magnum, . . .40 

" " " to the meai us externus, ... 35 

Height, 19 

Length of the lower jaw, 3 3 

Width at the condyles, 2 6 

Observations, This animal has a distribution almost as wide as 
that of the Bear. It is a native of all the States of the Union, 
and is supposed to inhabit the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Its 
countenance is much like that of the Fox, but its gait and motions 
are those of the Bear ; it also partakes of the habits of the latter 
in its modes of living. The Raccoon sleeps by day and wanders 
about by night in quest of food, and to enjoy its gambols, for it is 
fond of play and frolic. Its food is green corn when it can be 
obtained, and it is especially fond of all sweet vegetables, and 
even of sugar, molasses, preserves, &c. It will also receive 
fresh meat, though it is not known to destroy any of the smaller 
animals. In a state of nature, therefore, it is supposed to subsist 
entirely on vegetables, though I have been informed that it often 
resorts to the water for the purpose of taking fish, for the truth 
of which I cannot vouch. 


If taken y^ung, it becomes perfectly tame and domest'rated, 
in which state, however, it is xery uneasy if confined, which it 
signifies by a most troublesome cry. When awake, he is always 
in motion, and appears to be examining every thing in his way, 
climbing chairs and tables, searching f s gar and sweet meats, 
feeling every little thing with his paws, thrusting them into every 
little hole it can find, and, when his curiosity is excited, taking up 
the object with his flexible fingers, and rolling it between his hands 
till its nature is fully ascertained. 

This animal lives in hollow trees, which it scarcely ever leaves 
during the day ; but at twilight it goes abroad, and wanders about 
till break of day, when it returns to its retreat. It is rare, there- 
fore, to meet with it in open daylight. The female produces 
from four to six at a birth, about the last of March or first of 
April. The young do not appear to continue so long with the 
mother as in the case of bears. The skin of the Raccoon is the 
most valuable part ; several of them make a handsome and dura- 
ble robe. The meat of the young is frequently eaten, and is 
quite esteemed by some persons ; but the flavor of the old ones is 
not such as to recommend it in civilized life.* 

FAMILY V. CANID.^E. The Dog Family. 

Characters of the family. Teeth formed entirely for eating 
flesh. Two tuberculated teeth posterior to the large carnivorous 
tooth in the upper jaw. This family embraces the dog, wolf, 
fox, &c. 

Genus Canis. Lin. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors £ ; canines § ; 
molars 1| ; = 42. The first three molars in the upper jaw, and 
the four small, edged ; the great carnivorous tooth above, bicuspid, 
with a tubercle on the inner side ; pupils circular, diurnal ; muzzle 

* A pair, which the author had in possession for some time, and which were taken 
quite young, not more than a week old, acquired partially the power of barking, 
or rather their growl, when offended, was much of the nature of the bark of a 
puppy. The inquiry which this fact suggests to me is, whether, by perfect do- 
mestication, this animal would not fully acquire the bark of a dog, a faculty or 
power which it is supposed the latter animal has acquired by intercourse with 


elongated ; tongue soft ; ears erect ; fore feet pentadactylous, 
hind feet tetradactylous ; teats inguinal and ventral. 

1. Canis lupus. Lin. Desm. The Common Wolf. 

Canis Lupus, Harlan, Fauna, p. 79. Godman, Nat. Hist. i. p. 255. 
Figure; Ibid., 255. 

Specific characters. Tail straight, pendant, bushy ; fur gray, 
fawn-colored, with a black stripe on the fore legs ; eyes oblique. 

Description. Color varies somewhat with the season and with 
age. In the summer the hair is short and yellowish-red ; in the 
winter, blackish along the back, and obscurely striped, with black 
along the sides ; large patch of white beneath the lower jaw, and 
another between the fore legs ; head thick, but the snout long and 
slender ; tail bushy, tufted with white and black, but never re- 
curved like the dog's ; fore feet black in front ; voice a howl ; snaps 
when it bites, without retaining its hold. 


ft. ft. in. 

Whole length, from . . . . 3 to 3 6 

Height, 2 5 

Tail, 12 

Head, 10 

Ears, 3or2£ 


in. t'ths. 

Whole length measured over the frontal bones, . 9£ 

From the incisors to the meatus externus, ... 80 

Breadth at the base of the zygomatic process, . . 3 5, 

Greatest breadth at the zygomatic arches, ... 50 

" " of the cerebral mass over the meatus, 2 3 

Height over the same line, 2 1 

Observations. The Wolf is capable of domestication and of 
forming attachments. It acquires its full size in about three years. 
It is savage and cruel in the wild state, and is compelled to wan- 
der, like a fugitive from justice, from place to place. When it 
has been taken young, and treated kindly, its nature is somewhat 
changed, and it is probable it would become kind and improved, 
like the dog. The Greyhound and the Wolf possess characters 


somewhat allied, particularly in their memories ; both are forgetful, 
and little disposed to watch and guard the premises of a master. 
It would appear from the measurements below, that the American 
Wolf is somewhat longer than the European. It is not, from 
some cause or other, so dangerous, as it does not attack travellers 
as the European Wolf is known to do. The exact measurement 
of a Wolf in my possession, which was taken in Vermont, is 
as follows ; 

ft. in. t'ths. 

Whole length, exclusive of the tuft of hair at the extremity of the 

tail, 500 

Length of the shaft of the tail, 14 

Length of the tuft, 3 

Height at the fore legs, 2 10 

" " posterior, 2 4 

From the nose to the ear, 7 5 

Length of the ear, 3 

Circumference just behind the fore legs, . . . . 19 

The measurement of a dried specimen of the American Black 
Wolf is as follows ; 

ft. in. 

Whole length, 4 4 

Tail, 12 

From the foot to the centre of the back, 15 

Height posteriorly, 18 

From the nose to the ear, 7 

Length of the ear, 2 

If the skin of the Black Wolf was from a full grown individual, 
it would indicate that it really may be a distinct species. The 
ear is narrower, and the nose rather more pointed, tail not quite 
so bushy, and the whole size is less. This individual was taken 
in Maine. 

The Wolf brings forth from four to six young at a birth, which 
are born blind. They frequently hunt in packs, and act in con- 
cert. Their voice is a howl, which they greatly modify. A 
single Wolf produces such a variety of sounds, that the distant 
hearer often supposes it proceeds from half a dozen in a pack. 

Genus Vulpes. The Fox. 
Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors f- ; canines ^Et 5 
molars -f-Ey ; = 42 ; pupil elliptical ; tongue soft ; ears large and 


pointed ; body slender and compressed ; tail long and bushy ; 
claws not retractile. 

1. Vulpes fulvus. Lin. The Red Fox. 

Canis fulvus, Harlan, Fauna, p. 89. 
The Red Fox, G dman, i. p. 276. 

Canis (Vulpes) fulvus, Richardson, Fauna Bor. Am. p. 91. 
'Figure; Ibid., plate 6. 

Specific characters. Fur reddish or fulvous ; white beneath ; 
ears black behind ; fore feet and legs black before ; tail long, 
bushy, and terminated with white. 

Description. The head is pointed ; color above fulvous, but 
varying in degree with season, age, and sex ; some individuals are 
quite red, while others are pale-yellow. In the spring, the color 
appears to fade. The quantity of white on the tail varies much 
in individuals ; in some, there is a larger intermixture of long, 
black, glossy hairs ; in others, the back is quite gray. 

Observations. The Fox, like some of the smaller animals, 
instead of flying from civilized life, seems rather to increase in its 
neighbourhood, or at least this would be the case in mountainous 
districts, if laws for its extirpation were not enacted, and these 
would be ineffectual, were it not for the fact, that they take effect 
upon the young. During the operation of the late act in this 
State for destroying those animals which are injurious to the farm- 
er, great numbers were taken, so that now, in the county of Berk- 
shire, their number is very sensibly diminished. The Fox is 
unquestionably injurious in the sheep-fold, especially in the spring. 
It makes some little compensation by destroying mice, but its 
benefits to the farmer are not sufficient to entitle it to his protec- 
tion. Its numbers will, therefore, always be kept within moderate 

The habits of the Fox are so well known, his sagacity and 
cunning having become proverbial, that it is unnecessary to dwell 
upon this part of the subject. He is, moreover, oftener ex- 
posed to observation, than any of our larger animals. 

In connexion with this species, it is proper to speak of the 


Vulpes Decussatus, or Cross Fox, and the Black Fox. The 
former, if we may credit the statements of hunters, has been 
taken in Williamstown, while the latter has been observed in 
several instances, and has been captured in Stamford, Vt., an 
adjacent town. I have not, however, seen either, neither am I 
disposed to give full credit to the reports cf hunters. The Cross 
Fox is found in New York, particularly in the northern counties. 
The Black Fox is rare throughout the Union, and only here and 
there is an individual known. Their skins sell for about twelve 

2. Vulpes Virginianus. Gmel. The Gray Fox. 

Description. Body silvery-gray, with a shade of red about the 
ears ; darker from the shoulders to the posterior part of the back ; 
near the body the hair is plumbeous, then yellowish, then white, 
and theu tipped with lustrous black on the front ; from the top of 
the head to the edge of the orbits, gray, while on the rest of 
the face, from the internal angle of the eye to within half an inch 
of the extremity of the nose, it is blackish ; at the extremity on 
each side of the granulated tip of the nose, it is yellowish white. 
A fine line of black-tipped hairs extends upwards and outwards, 
from half an inch below the internal angle of the eyes, until it is 
intersected by a similar one about half an inch beyond the ex- 
ternal angle of the eye, thus forming a very acute triangle, whose 
base is on the side of the face. Mystachial bristles black ; under 
jaw blackish ; inner surface of the ears yellowish ; tips on the 
outside blackish-gray ; remainder yellow. There is a white spot 
on the breast, and it is also white beneath ; tail thick and bushy ; 
extremity black. 

The length of the head and body is about twenty-four inches, 
and the tail eleven. Godman. 

This species is termed by furriers the Wood-gray Fox. It is 
rather smaller than the red, is less robust, and is sooner run down 
by hounds. It runs more like the hare, as it regards the width of 
its circles, when pursued. The species is rare in Massachusetts, 
but is common in the southern portion of New York, and in New 
Jersey and Pennsylvania. 


FAMILY VI. FELID.E. The Cat Family. 

Genus Lyncus. The Lynx. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors §• ; canines ~~ ; 
molars f=§ ; = 23 ; feet four-toed ; nails retractile ; head short ; 
ears tufted, triangular. 

1. Lyncus borealis. The Canada Lynx. 

Felis Canadensis, Lin., Cat Lynx, Penn., Arct. Zool., i. p. 50. 
Felis Canadensis, Geoff. An. du Mus. Sabine, Franklin's Jo-urn., p. 
659. Richardson, Fauna Bor. Am. p. 101. Harlan, Fauna Am. p. 98. 
The Northern Lynx, Godman, Nat. Hist. i. p. 302. 
Figure ; Ibid., p. 302. 

Specific characters. Color gray ; ears tufted, with long black 
hair springing just behind the apex, bordered posteriorly with 
black, and running into the tuft ; hair long and soft ; tail short, 
terminated with black. 

Description. The general color is rather a silvery gray, with a 
yellowish tint beneath, which appears if the hair is but slightly 
disturbed ; extremities of the hairs brownish, then white, and 
then brownish extending to the base, intermixed with others en- 
tirely black ; darker along the back ; the fur along the back and 
head is brown ; along the back of the neck, sid js, tail, and its 
base, yellowish ; the tail beneath has a white stripe ; hair upon 
the breast and belly long, white, but still terminated with brown- 
ish ; one brown spot on each fore leg near the body, and several 
on the breast behind the legs ; ears terminated with pencils or 
tufts entirely black ; bordered with black, which extends near to 
the base on the posterior, but only about half that distance on the 
anterior side ; inside of this border it is yellowish, but more dis- 
tinct posteriorly ; base of the lower jaw surrounded with a fringe 
of long hair, shorter in the female ; it is intermixed with gray, 
black, and white, the middle portion black ; mouth surrounded 
with brownish fur or hair, more distinct at the extremity of the 
lower jaw ; white beneath ; whiskers black and white ; tail ter- 
minated with black ; white beneath ; legs yellowish behind ; toes 


and nails concealed in long, dense, silky hair, and fur which is 
somewhat curled or crisped. 


ft. in. t'ths. 

Length of the head and body, 3 10 

" " tail, 040 

" " ear, 2 

" " tuft, 020 

Fringe and hair beneath, 4 5 

Height at the back, 19 

" at the anterior legs, 17 

Observations. The Northern or Canada Lynx presents a very 
striking resemblance to the cat. Its head is round, and the nose 
is obtuse ; its canine teeth are also grooved like the domestic cat's ; 
it is more convex between the eyes. The two most remarkable 
characters of the Lynx are the beautiful pencils of black hair 
which ornament the ears, and the perfect hairiness of the soles of 
the feet, which have no naked spots or tubercles like the other spe- 
cies of the feline race. There are no very distinct stripes of black 
or brown ; still we may perceive a tendency thereto in a good light ; 
it is, however, more like a mottling, than an arrangement into 
stripes. The legs of this animal appear thick, in consequence of 
the length of the hair ; it makes a round track, in which neither the 
marks of the toes nor of the nails appear. It was once common 
in this State, but appears now only in the depth of winter, and as 
a straggler. One was captured a few years since in the neighbour- 
hood of Chester village in Hampden County. It was a fine, large 
male, and was able to resist the attacks of several dogs ; it ascend- 
ed trees with the utmost facility, leaping up their trunks at fifteen 
or twenty feet in single bounds. It is timid and shy, and never 
attacks man or the larger animals. Its flesh is eaten, and is es- 
teemed by connoisseurs, and is said to resemble that of the hare in 
its flavor. Nature has supplied it with clothing remarkably well 
adapted to a cold climate ; it is strictly a northern animal, and is 
found as far north as latitude 66°. It subsists principally on the 
Hare, and is most sure to be found where this animal abounds. 
The specimen which has given me an opportunity of describing it, 
was taken in Maine. It was a male, and was captured in the 


depth of winter, and was evidently full grown and perfect in all 
respects. The fur of the Lynx is highly esteemed on account of 
its length and softness ; for this very reason, however, it is not so 
durable as the fur of the Otter or Beaver. The skins are generally 
purchased for three or three and a half dollars. 

2. Lyncus rufus. The Wild Cat. 

Bay Lynx, Penn., Hist. Quad. A. Arct. Zool., i. p. 51. 

Felis rufa, Harlan, Fauna, p. 99. Richardson, Fauna Bor. Am., p. 103. 

Specific characters. Color yellowish, or reddish-brown, mingled 
with darker spots of brown ; inferior parts of the throat and body 
white or whitish ; ears tufted ; inside of the legs spotted with 
brown ; tail terminated with dark brown, and with a small portion 
of whitish beneath, obscurely banded. 

Description. The general color is rufous ; some individuals 
are gray or yellowish-gray ; ear triangular, and surrounded pos- 
teriorly with a blackish border, within which there is a triangular 
patch of yellowish white ; tips ornamented with a black, but short 
pencil of hairs, which springs from just behind the apex ; irides 
yellow ; eyes partially encircled with a whitish stripe ; front, and 
portions about the upper lip, striped with darkish-brown ; fringe 
near the base of the jaw mixed with black ; posterior legs dark- 
brown below the gambrels ; fore legs lighter colored, and spotted 
inside ; one spot larger, near the body. 


ft. in. t'ths. 

Length of the head and body, 2 

" " tail, 045 

Length of another individual, 2 5 

Length from the nose to the base of the ear, . . . .030 

" " ear, 10 

Height behind, 150 

« before, 140 

Observations. The Wild Cat stands high on its legs, has a 
short, curved tail, which makes the animal appear somewhat dis- 
proportioned. It resembles the common Cat more than the pre- 


ceding. It varies somewhat in color ; some individuals are more 
gray than others, though not so much so as to conceal the general 
fulvous aspect. This species is easily distinguished from the pre- 
ceding by the shorter pencils of hair upon the ear, and by the 
nakedness of the balls of the toes. This last character, it ap- 
pears to me, is sufficiently important in the borealis, to constitute 
it a genus by itself. The tail is longer in proportion in the rufus 
than in the borealis, so that it is scarcely possible to confound the 
two. It resides in wooded and rocky districts, at a distance from 
habitations, or the resorts of men ; it lives on squirrels, birds, 
hares, &c. ; it is also very injurious to sheep-folds. It is still 
found in the mountainous districts of this State, particularly in 
Middlefield, Chester, Russel, and Blandford. The animal, like 
most of the feline race, is nocturnal in its habits, and is hence 
rarely exposed to observation in the day time. 

Genus Felis. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors |- ; canines ~t > 
molars -£=f ; = 30. Five toes on the fore feet ; hind feet tetra- 
dactyle ; ears long, erect ; tail long. 

1. Felis concolor. Lin. The Puma, or American Lion. 

Felis concolor, Harlan, Fauna, p. 94. 
The Cougar, Godman, Nat. Hist. i. p. 291. 
Figure; Ibid., p. 291. 

Specific characters. Color uniformly dun or fulvous ; beneath 
paler ; tail long, extremity dark-brown in the male ; ears rather 
rounded and prominent ; limbs thick and stout. 

Description. The color of the Puma is remarkably uniform at 
all seasons of the year. Head rather long ; ears light-colored 
inside, but blackish posteriorly ; face whitish about the internal 
angles of the eyes, upper lips, chin, and the angles of the jaw ; 
hair of the whole body thick and short ; tail of the male longer 
than the female, and darker brown at the extremity. 


ft. in. t'tln. 

Whole length of one of the largest individuals, . .940 

Tail of a female, . . . . . . 19 

" " male, . . . . . .230 

Length of the ear, . . ■ . 2 
















Length measured along the palatine bones to the foramen, 

" over the frontal bones to the crucial ridge, . 

" incisors to the meatus externus, . 
Width at the zygomatic arches, 
Greatest width of the lower jaw, 
Length of the canine tooth of the upper jaw above the gum, 

Observations. The Puma is not found at present in this State. 
It has, however, been seen in the western portion long since its 
settlement. It is a cowardly animal, rarely if ever attacks man, 
and most of the tales relating to its depreciations are fictitious ; in 
that portion of St. Lawrence County, New York, where they 
most abound, no instance is known of their having destroyed a 
single individual, man or child.* It preys of course upon all the 
animals weaker than itself ; it does not refuse even the hedge-hog, 
which it contrives to eat without swallowing its quills, by com- 
mencing its meal at the nose, and drawing the body through the 
skin as it proceeds. The skull from which the above measure- 
ments were taken, belonged to an individual not fully mature. 
The most remarkable feature of the skull is the convexity of the 
face ; the nasal and frontal bones being very distinctly arched, 
and, besides, the bones of the face, together with the frontal, 
form the largest portion of the skull, so that the part containing the 
brain is thrown back far in the rear. The thickest portion of brain 
is evidently immediately over the meatus auditorius externus. 
The sockets for the eyes are much larger than in the Bear, and 
their direction is more oblique to the axis of the cranium. The 
width of the skull is great in proportion to the length. In the ab- 
sence of the teeth we may distinguish the skull by attentively mark- 
ing the above characters. The tails of females which have fallen 
under my observation, are shorter than of the males, yet there 
may not be a constancy of character in this particular, which can 
be depended upon. The female brings forth two young ones at 
a litter, which are beautifully spotted with rather irregular, oblong 
spots of brown. These mostly disappear at the first shedding of 

* A single hunter, in St. Lawrence County, not many years since, met five 
Panthers together, of which, with his dog and gun, he killed three at the time, 
and the next day the other two. 


the hair. The Panther, though it will not venture to attack man, 
yet will follow his track a great distance ; if it is near the evening, 
he frequently utters a scream which can be heard for miles. 
When treed by dogs, if it is not much disturbed or wounded, it 
will often sit quietly on a branch, and purr like a cat, though much 
louder. In the day time it travels but little ; it usually lies con- 
cealed beside a log or rock until towards night, when it sallies out 
in quest of food. This animal, though known to be powerful, 
yet, in one instance, has been mastered and killed by a single dog. 
It was one, too, which was of about the common size. Still, there 
are very few dogs who may safely attack it. The description and 
observations apply to the species now found in the State of New 
York. It is quite doubtful whether I have delineated the entire 
species, and it is still a question whether the southern animal 
known as the Panther or Catamount, is the same as the northern. 
No opportunity has been furnished me of forming a satisfactory 
opinion by inspection and examination of specimens. From 
what I have been able to learn, the Puma's northern range is not 
much beyond the latitude of 45°, and it is evident that the terres- 
trial conditions most suited to it are the regions farther south. 

FAMILY VII. MUSTELID^E. The Weasel Family. 

Characters of the family. The Mustelidae have long slender 
bodies, and short legs. Most, if not all the species, have odorif- 
erous glands at the roots of their tails, which, in some instances, 
are extremely strong-scented. They are strictly carnivorous, and 
being powerful, active, and sanguinary in their habits, they are 
able to overcome animals larger than themselves ; this is true, 
however, only of a portion of the family, the Weasels and Mar- 
tens ; the Mephitis or Skunk is rather clumsy, and less active, 
though equally fond of animal food. They differ somewhat also 
in their modes of living ; a portion preferring a dry wooded re- 
gion, as the Marten, and others the banks of rivers and wet places, 
as the Mink and Otter. 


Genus Mustela. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors -| ; canines § ; 
molars J-E| ; = 38. Body elongated, ears rounded, legs short, 
feet pentadactyle. 

1. Mustela Canadensis. Lin. The Fisher or Pekan. 

Le Pekan, Buffon, xiii. p. 304. t. xlii. opt. 

Mustela Canadensis, Lin., Gmel., i. p. 95. Harlan, Fauna Amer. p. 65. 
Mustela Pennanti, Sabine, Franklin's First Journ. Erxl. Syst. 
Fisher, Pennant, Zool., i. p. 82. 
Pennant's Marten, Godman, Nat. Hist., i. p. 203. 
Figure ; Ibid., p. 185. 

Specific characters. Color mostly black ; nose, rump, tail, and 
extremities black ; face yellowish-gray ; head round ; ears low 
and wide at base, and semicircular ; margins whitish ; tail long 
and bushy. 

Description. The color of the head and shoulders lighter, 
being of a yellowish, or brownish, or ash-gray ; hair and fur also 
of those parts shorter than on the rest of the body, darker beneath 
than above ; hair black or dark-brown at the extremity, then ash, 
and then darker at the roots ; fur uniformly brown, and of one 
color over the body ; head rather round, which contracts suddenly, 
and forms rather a pointed nose ; mystachical bristles brown ; the 
ears are w r ide asunder ; feet and legs short, strong ; toes free, black, 
and armed with sharp nails ; tubercles small, and concealed by 
the dense hair ; tail black, and rather bushy. There are white 
spots at the base of the anterior, and a large one between the 
posterior legs, and a small one on the throat. In another indi- 
vidual, there were no white spots. The general color of this w r as 
ash above, and nearly black beneath ; inner toe shortest. 

Whole length, 







From the nose to the ear, 



Height at the fore legs, 
" " posterior, 






Length along the palatine bones, 
Over the frontal to the crucial ridge, 







From the incisors to the meatus, 




Width at the zygoma, 

Height, .... 




Observations. The variations in the color and size of the 
Pekan, have induced naturalists to divide it into two species. 
Probably as to color, the same individual varies with the season, 
and with age ; in the summer it is lighter than in the winter ; and 
as to size, it varies considerably ; there is one in the Albany muse- 
um larger than the one whose measurements are given above, but 
which differs from it in no other respect. This animal is ex- 
tremely tough, and tenacious of life. It is active and sanguinary, 
and lives by plunder and bloodshed. In this respect it is fully 
equal to the feline race. It dwells in hollow trees, to which it 
confines itself generally during the day. Hence it is very rarely 
seen, even in those districts where it is quite common. It preys 
upon squirrels and other small animals. It is extremely trouble- 
some to the hunter by robbing his traps, especially of sable. It 
becomes skilled in the practice, and will follow the sable line for 
miles, and destroy in the route every one which has been taken. 
To prevent these depredations, the hunter makes a large log trap 
sufficiently strong to hold the enemy, and his voracity generally 
causes him to fall a victim ; but occasionally the sagacity of the 
animal is more than a match for the hunter. He will entirely 
demolish the trap by tearing down the materials from the back 
side, and by this means obtain the bait without danger of being 

The fur of the Pekan is not so fine and beautiful as that of the 
Marten. Still, it has some beauty, especially when combined 
with the long, black, glossy hair. It climbs trees with facility, 
and destroys the eggs of birds when it can gain access to them. 
It prefers damp places, or those in the vicinity of water, in con- 
sequence, as is supposed, of its fondness for frogs and other 
aquatic animals. The skin, when in good condition, is worth 
about one dollar and a half. It is occasionally found in the vi- 
cinity of Williamstown, particularly in that range of mountains 


which extends northeast through Stamford, Vermont. Whether 
it is found in any other part of this State, I have not been able to 

2. Mustek martes. Lin. The Pine Marten. 

Id, Richardson, Fauna Bor. Am., p. 51. Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 67. 
Pine Marten, Pennant, Arct. Zool,, i. p. 77. Godman, Nat. Hist. i. p. 200. 
La Marte, Buffon. 
Martes abietum, Ray. 

Figure ; Godman, i. p. 208. 

Specific characters. Brown ; yellow stripe along the throat 
and belly ; head and margin of the ears whitish ; legs and tail 

Description. The color is yellowish-brown, varying some- 
what with the season ; in the fall, before the fur is good, it is 
reddish, and rather dirty or soiled in its appearance, but becomes 
pale towards spring ; head triangular ; muzzle pointed, and the 
nose extending beyond the lips ; ears rounded, with whitish mar- 
gins, rather large and open ; eyes large, prominent, and remarka- 
bly lively ; body long and flexible ; tail long and bushy ; feet 
rather short ; fur of two kinds, the inner fine, soft, and of a light- 
yellowish color, or grayish, the outer long, shining, and ash- 
colored at the roots, but brown and glossy at the extremity, yet 
varying in intensity ; some are black at their ends ; legs and tail 
black ; toes five, free, inner shortest, and armed with slender 

Full grown male. 

ft. in. t'lhg. 

Whole length, . . . 1 11 

Tail, 6 

Nose to the meatus, . . .030 

Height at the fore legs, . . . 4 6 to 6 


From the incisors to the occiput, . .033 

" " along the palatine bones, 3 

" " " " meatus, . 2 5 

Width at the zygoma, . . . 19 

Height, . . . .012 


Observations. The Pine Marten inhabits the mountainous dis- 
tricts of Berkshire, especially where pine forests abound. It is, 
however, often found in beech woods, where it is sure of a more 
ready supply of food. Its nocturnal habits, and native shyness, 
effectually screen it from observation, even in districts where it 
abounds. Though this animal is formed for subsisting on animal 
food, still, when nuts are plentiful, it resorts to them for suste- 
nance, and hence, in those seasons, the hunter is unable to pro- 
cure it in much abundance, as it will not then take the bait, as 
they say. It is taken in a log trap, made and baited in such a 
way, that it cannot reach the meat without passing under the dead 
fall ; the bait being fixed to a spindle, it springs the trap, and lets 
the log fall upon itself while devouring the bait. To lead the 
animal along the line of traps, the hunter drags after him a dead 
squirrel, or a tainted piece of meat. By this means the Marten 
falls upon the course whenever he happens to cross the track, and 
is led along to the nearest trap. A line of Marten traps some- 
times extends forty miles, though not in a direct line. The course 
is always in a circle, so that the hunter in visiting his traps comes 
round nearly to the place where he commenced his route. The 
Marten, if taken young, can be domesticated, in which state it is 
lively, playful, and cleanly, and is entirely free from any thing 
unpleasant ; it emits, on the contrary, rather an agreeable odor, 
and is hence termed the s u eel Marten. It has all the sprightliness 
of the squirrel, and is very active in pursuing its game ; ascends 
trees readily, and in them it principally dwells. Its chattering is 
much like that of the gray squirrel. When it encounters an 
enemy, it bristles up, shows its teeth, and arches its back, and, 
when attacked, it bites unmercifully, and will not readily let go its 
hold. Hence, when a dog attempts to seize it, it resists so 
actively, that it often escapes, even from its jaws, unless the dog 
is accustomed to its warfare. 

A remarkable arrangement is found in the organ of hearing in 
the animals living by the destruction of others ; thus, in the Pe- 
kan and Pine Marten, the bony process of the meatus auditorius 
is directed forward ; by this very structure they are fitted for the 
pursuit of prey ; and their moral qualities also seem to correspond, 
as they are far from being timid, or disposed to fly from an enemy, 


but are rather inclined to meet and encounter him. Nature, too, 
seems to have given them the sense of smell in great perfection, 
as is evident from their following the tracks of other animals, and 
also that of the hunter who drags the bait after him. This ar- 
rangement of the outer ear, is an adaptation to an inward sense, 
if we may use the expression, an adaptation which shows design 
and fitness in a manner worthy of our admiration. In the Hare, 
we see a different arrangement. The meatus is directed back- 
wards, and the difference of structure is no greater than the dif- 
ference in the propensities of the tw T o animals ; the one advances 
to the attack, the other flies for its life ; the one resists and bites 
to its latest breath, the other, if it cannot escape by flight, scarce- 
ly attempts to inflict a wound upon its pursuer. The one directs 
its ear forwards to catch the distant sounds of its flying victim, 
the other directs them backwards, that it may learn the progress 
of the pursuer, that it may know whether it is safe to repose, or 
whether its efforts to escape must be redoubled. 

The skin of the Marten is worth from ninety cents to one dol- 
lar twelve and a half cents. The fur improves with the coldness 
of the climate ; hence, the farther north the animal is obtained, 
the more esteemed is the fur. It breeds in the spring, and the 
female has from four to six young at a birth. 

Its northern range is stated by Richardson as about the sixty- 
eighth degree of latitude. 

The Martens have been separated from the Weasels in conse- 
quence of the difference which exists in their teeth, habits, length 
of fur, and the more elongated form of the latter. The ears of 
the Marten are larger, and more conspicuous ; their fur is longer, 
and they have fewer teeth by two in each jaw. They seem to 
form a connecting link between the Mustelidae and the Canidae. 

Genus Putorius. Cuv. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors £ ; canines ^Et > 
molars J=f ; = 34. Body elongated ; legs short ; toes united 
by a membrane. 


1. Putorius vison. The Mink. 

Foutereau, La Hontan, Voyage, i. p. 81. 

Mink, Kalm. Jour. Minx, Lawson. 

Le Vison, Buffon, xiii. p. 308, t. 43. 

Mnstela lutreola, Foster, Phil. Trans., Ixii. p. 371. 

Minx Otter, Pennant, A ret. Zool., i. p. 87. 

Mnstela vison, Cuvier, Regne Animal., i. p. 150. 

" lutreola, Sabine, Franklin's Journ., p. 652. 
The Mink, Godman, Nat. Hist., i. p. 206. 

Specific characters. Dark, glossy brown, above and beneath ; 
fur shortest upon the head, and longest upon the posterior parts 
of the body ; body greatly elongated, especially the neck ; legs 
short ; nails white ; usually a white spot beneath the chin ; ears 
short, and mostly concealed in the fur. 

Description. Head and nose slightly convex ; the latter black, 
obtuse, and extending beyond the chin ; ears short, distinctly 
rounded, and concealed beneath the fur ; head small and de- 
pressed ; eyes small, and placed far forward ; neck very long ; 
whole body cylindrical ; legs very short ; toes connected by a 
hairy membrane ; nails white, shorter than the hair, but not con- 
cealed ; tail thick at the base, round, and gradually tapering to its 
extremity ; fur short, but dense and thick, intermediate between 
brown and gray ; the lower jaw often tipped with white, and 
sometimes there are other white spots about the throat and breast ; 
whiskers brown, shorter than the head ; two glands situated at the 
base of the tail, which secretes a fetid liquid that exhales the 
odor of the skunk and cat combined. 


Length of the head and body, .... 

" " tail, ...... 

" " nose to the shoulder, 

" " incisors to the meatus, .... 

Length from the incisors to the crucial ridge, 

" " ■ to the foramen magnum over the palate, 

" " " to the meatus, 

Width at the zygomatic arch, ..... 

















in. t'ths. 

Height at the zygomatic arch, . . . . 8 

Length of the lower jaw, . . . . .13 

Width, 12 

Observations. The legs of the Mink are shorter, in proportion 
to the size and length of the body, than those cf the Weasel. It 
is intimately related to the Otter in its form, depressed skull, 
webbed feet, thick tail, and in its habits, &c. It is common in 
Massachusetts ; it is found in the vicinity of ponds and streams, 
in and around which it obtains its subsistence. The Mink is easily 
tamed, if taken young, and is susceptible of forming strong attach- 
ments. Its fur is of but little value, on account of its shortness, 
though it is quite fine. Its value, however, varies with the fash- 
ions of the day, and may, therefore, become more marketable 
than at the present time. It is common throughout the length 
and breadth of America, or it ranges from the Carolinas to 69° 
north latitude. It is said to have from four to seven young at a 

2. Putorius vulgaris. Cuv. The Weasel. 

Mustela vulgaris, Lin. Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 61. 
Mustela (Putorius) vulgaris, Richardson, Fauna Bor. Am., p. 45. 
Figure ; Godman, Nat. Hist., i. p. 208. 

Specific characters. Reddish-brown above, white beneath, tail 
short, and of the same color as the body. 

Description. The color is uniform through the year, and rather 
brighter and paler than that of the Stoat in his summer dress. 
Richardson describes it as yellowish-brown, varying into chesnut- 
brown, and the under parts as yellowish-white, together with the 
legs, thighs, and the whole of the chin, and which extends to one 
half of the upper lip ; tip of the tail blackish-brown. 


in. t'ths. 

Whole length, 

10 8 

Head and neck, 

2 8 



Tail including hair, 


Shaft of the bone, 

1 7 


Observations. There is some doubt in relation to the identity 
of the European and American Weasel. The tail of the Amer- 
ican is evidently shorter than that of the European. In other 
respects there is a great similarity. It is not so common as the 
following species, at least in the western part of the State. There 
is no occasion for mistaking this species for its congener, com- 
monly called the White Weasel, as the latter is always larger, 
and has a longer tail, which is always terminated with a black 
pencil of hairs, whereas, in the former, it is always short, and of 
a uniform color. It feeds upon mice, moles, eggs, chickens, &c. 
The smallness of the animal fits it better for pursuing mice than 
larger animals, and hence it may be of great service in barns, and 
hav and grain ricks, in the destruction of vermin ; and hence, too, 
it should be protected, even if it should occasionally take an egg 
or a chicken for a change of diet. 

3. Putorius Noveboracensis. De Kay. The Ermine W T easel. 

Mustela erminea, Lin. Gmel. Haiian, Fauna Am., p. 62. 
Stoat Weasel, Penn., Arct. Zool., i. p. 75. 

Mustela (Putorius) erminea, Richardson, Fauna Bor. Am., p. 46. 
The Ermine Weasel, Godman, Nat. Hist., i. p. 193. 
Figure ; Ibid., p. 213, f. 2. 

Specific characters. Reddish-brown above, white beneath ; in 
winter wholly white ; slightly tinged with yellow, except the ex- 
tremity of the tail, which is always black. 

Description. The neck, body, and tail long and cylindrical ; 
nose slightly convex ; legs short and stout ; ears low, rounded, or 
but slightly pointed, wide at base, standing obliquely^ to the axis 
of the head ; eyes black, large, and full of animation ; mystachial 
bristles of two kinds ; the coarsest, brown at base, and whitish 
at the extremities, intermixed with a few entirely white ; the 
shortest and finest all white ; feet five-toed, the inner one shortest ; 
in the winter covered with glossy hair, concealing the five small 
terminal tubercles ; soles nearly covered with hair ; some indi- 
viduals are more yellow than others on the posterior parts. 



in. t'tlig. 

Length of the head and body, . . . .110 

" of the tail bone, . . . . 5 4 

" of the tail, including the terminal tuft, . . 6 6 

" from the nose to the posterior base of the ear, 1 9 

Observations. This little animal is one of the most lively and 
active of any which are known to us. It is common to the Mid- 
dle and Northern States. It is bold and courageous, and is ready 
to attack animals larger than itself. It often domesticates itself 
in cellars and barns, which it speedily clears of rats and mice. 
It is, however, somewhat prone to mischief, and is not very con- 
scientious in the division of eggs, and of the young poultry ; yet 
it is productive of much good by ridding us of foes whose evils 
are much greater than the loss of a few eggs, and occasionally a 
chicken. Formerly the skins were in great demand, especially 
those taken in higher latitudes, as their fineness and beauty are 
superior to those of southern or warmer regions. At present 
they are not considered of so much value as formerly, and they 
can scarcely be considered as articles of traffic. It is reported 
that the female produces ten or eleven young at a birth ; but I have 
not had an opportunity of seeing their retreats while breeding, 
and therefore cannot vouch for its accuracy. The latter remarks 
apply rather to the true ermine ; it is considered as differing spe- 
cifically from this, though so strongly resembling it, that, without 
careful attention, it is very likely to be mistaken for it. 

Genus Lutra. Storr. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors |- ; canines \=\ ; 
molars f=| ; = 36. Body elongated and cylindrical ; legs short 
and strong ; toes five on the anterior feet, and four on the pos- 
terior, and the rudiment of a fifth ; webbed ; tail depressed, and 
wide at its insertion. 

1. Lutra Canadensis. Sabine. The Otter. 

Lutra Canadensis, Richardson, Fauna Bor. Am., p. 57. 
Mustela Hudsonica, Lacepcde. 
Lutra Brasilicnsis, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 72. 
The American Otter, Godman, Nat. Hist., i. p. 222. 
Figure ; Ibid., p. 228, f. 2. 


Specific characters. Fur glossy brown ; chin and throat dusky 
white, grayish, or yellowish-brown ; neck and head long ; legs 
short ; tail pointed, and shorter than the body. 

Description. Color dark, glossy brown, pale or whitish about 
the throat and face ; body long and cylindrical ; neck nearly as 
thick as the body ; feet with five toes on the anterior feet, and 
four, with a rudiment of a fifth, on the posterior feet, short, 
strong, and webbed ; tail depressed at base ; the skull is wide and 
depressed posteriorly ; muzzle short and wide ; upper lip thick ; 
eyes small, and placed near together, and far in advance ; ears 
small, slightly rounded, and partly concealed in fur ; the two last 
grinders of the upper jaw large, the three others small and crowd- 
ed ; the last but one largest in the lower jaw ; at the base of the 
tail there are two oval glandular bodies about the size of a butter- 
nut, in which there is a yellowish substance about the thickness 
of cream, when the animal is dead, which has rather a strong, 
disagreeable odor, but not so much so as in the Mink ; kidney 
lobulated ; skin tough ; females smaller than the males. 


Male. Female. 

ft. in. t'th.?. ft. in. t'tbi. 

Whole length, 400 350 

Tail, 150120 

Height at the fore legs, 8 

Length of the head, 4 5 

Circumference at the middle of the back, . 17 

Length of another female, 3 8 

Height at the shoulder, 9 

Tail, 14 

From the nose to the meatus, 4 


Length, 043 

Height, 015 

Greatest width of the zygomatic arches, . . . . 2 5 

Length of another old skull, 4 

Width, 026 

Length from the incisors to the meatus, .... 030 

" " meatus to the other, 2 3 


Observations. The Otter is still an inhabitant of our waters, 
but, from its shyness, watchfulness, and aquatic habits, is rarely 
seen, and still more rarely captured. It lives in holes in the 
banks of streams, and subsists on fish, as salmon, bull-pouts, 
clams,* &c, the heads being more of a luxury than the bodies. 
It is very expert in fishing, moves rapidly in the water, in which 
it is greatly aided by the extreme mobility of its shoulder joints. 

The fur of the Otter ranks next to that of the Beaver in value, 
being nearly as fine, but not quite so long. It is more valuable 
in March and April than in the autumn, the fur then having at- 
tained its greatest length. In spring, Otter skins of the best 
quality generally sell for seven dollars, though the price varies 
with the fashions of the day. From the shortness of its limbs, 
the Otter is not a swift runner, yet it is difficult to capture it even 
on the land ; the hide is thick and tough, and defended by a coat 
of fur, and being a sharp biter, and quite active, the animal repels 
the attacks of most dogs, unless they have the assistance of their 
masters. It is rare to find an Otter thin in flesh ; but, though its 
condition is good, and though it is fat, yet its meat is no great 
dainty, except to an Esquimaux. Its breeding season is in the 
spring, or about the middle of April ; it has but one litter annual- 
ly, and it numbers only two or three young at a birth. The range 
of the species is wide, but its home seems to be in the colder 
regions of the North, as Canada and the British Provinces. It 
travels much, and does not confine itself to one locality, but 
wanders up and down the streams, as its wants and caprices 
seem to dictate ; it even travels over mountain ridges to reach 
some favorite fishing ground, in a route more direct than the 
windings of rivers. As has been already remarked, it is supplied 
with two glandular bodies situated at the base of the tail ; these 
seem to be connected with sexual propensities, and enable the 
animals to discover their mates, as they are supposed to eject or 
cast it on stones or weeds, somewhat in the manner of dogs. 
The hunters call it castor, and employ it to allure them into their 
traps. The usual method of trapping the Otter, is to seek first 

* Unios are so extensively used as food by the Otter and Mink, that they 
quite scarce in many places where they formerly abounded. 



the banks of clay or snow on the river's side, where they resort 
for the amusement of sliding. Having found one, they place the 
trap just under the water, that when the animal plunges in, his 
fore feet will spring it by striking the pan. This habit of sliding 
is evidently an indication that it is of a playful disposition, for 
there can be no other reason for it than amusement. It is sus- 
ceptible of domestication, and of becoming obedient to a master, 
and being trained to follow him. It has a whine much resembling 
the Dog's. The American Otter is distinguished from the Eu- 
ropean by its greater size, comparatively shorter tail, and a greater 
uniformity of brown on its inferior parts. 

Genus Mephitis. Cuv. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors f ; canines -}~t ; 
molars |=4 ; — 34. Body elongated ; arched ; toes free and 
armed with strong nails, and formed for digging ; tail long and 

1. Mephitis Americana. Desm. The Skunk. 

Memphitis Americana, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 70. 
The Skunk, Godman, Nat. Hist., i. p. 21& 
Figure ; Ibid., p. 213. 

Specific characters. Color black, marked with white, longitudi- 
nal bands, which vary somewhat in form and extent. 

Description. The head of the Skunk is small ; eyes small, and 
placed more laterally than in the true Weasels or Mink ; ears 
short and round ; forehead wide. Individuals present a variety 
of markings ; sometimes the white stripes extend from the tip of 
the nose to the rump ; sides of the head and under surface black 
or blackish-brown ; more generally there is an insulated white 
stripe along the forehead, and a large patch of white covering the 
whole of the upper part of the neck, from which two white lines 
bifurcate and extend on the back ; tail tipped with long, white, 
coarse hair, and many such hairs appear on the shaft of the tail, 
intermixed with the black ; nails before very robust ; it is pro- 
vided with odoriferous glands at the root of the tail. 

Observations. The general aspect of the Skunk is that of a 

wicked sort of cunning ; he walks along quite deliberately in the 



path before you, as if perfectly conscious of his means of de- 
fence. His head is small, and carried low, which, in connexion 
with his thick, arched body, imparts to him the appearance of 
clumsiness, foreign to the Weasels. The female breeds once a 
year, and produces four or five at a time. It extends to the north 
of the great Lakes, but is apparently most abundant in an old settled 


Characters of the order. The order is characterized by the 
presence of two cutting teeth in the form of chisels in each jaw, 
and which are separated from the molars by a vacant space ; ca- 
nines none ; molars have flat crowns, or blunt tubercles ; jaws 
admit of motion backward and forward, rather than laterally ; 
the posterior extremities longest ; the number of toes varies ac- 
cording to the species ; mammas variable also in number ; stomach 
simple ; intestines long. 

FAMILY VIII. CASTORIDiE. The Beaver Family. 

Genus Castor. Lin. Cuv. Geoff. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors § ; molars £=| ; 
= 20. Crowns of the molars flat ; toes five, anterior short, the 
posterior long and palmated ; tail broad, thick, depressed, or 
flatted horizontally, of an oval form, naked, and covered with 

* In the methodical arrangement of the species comprising the animal kingdom, 
there are two families which should be placed there, the PhocidjE and the 
Trichechid.5:, commonly known as Seals. Of the first, there are probably two 
genera, as at present constituted, the Calocephalus, and the Stemmatojtns ; of the 
last family, only one genus, viz. Trichechus, which may be an occasional visitant to 
the coast. 

In relation to the seals, it is proper to remark, that I have but little personal 
knowledge, my information being derived from books. I deemed it inexpedient, 
therefore, to furnish any matter for this Report, to which I was unable to add 
something from my own observation. I have, therefore, omitted the usual descrip- 
tions, and shall pass at once to the next order. 


Castor fiber. Lin. The Beaver. 

Castor Fiber, Harlan, p. 122. 
The Beaver, Godman, Nat. Hisr., ii. p. 21. 
Castor Fiber American us, Richardson, p. 105. 
Figure ; Godman, ii. p. 21. 

Specific characters. The fur consists of two sorts of hair, one 
coarse and brownish, the other downy, more or less gray. 

Description. The head of the Beaver is rather large, with a 
short and blunt snout ; the upper lip is divided ; eyes and ears 
small ; body thick ; the fore limbs somewhat stouter than the 
posterior ; feet five-toed, the membrane forming the web broader 
on the posterior than on the anterior feet ; middle toe longest, all 
armed with strong nails, fit for burrowing ; tail flattened trans- 
versely, oval, broad, and covered at base with thick fur, the re- 
mainder covered with scales. Incisors yellow in front, strong, 
and furnished with a single plate of enamel ; the upper stand at 
right angles to the axis of the jaw ; molar teeth of the upper jaw 
directed backwards and outwards ; each tooth upon the inside 
presents a distinct longitudinal groove, formed by the folding of 
the enamel upon itsalf, and which divides it into two nearly equal 
parts ; on the outside, the two middle teeth present two indistinct 
grooves, and the extremes are merely striated ; the lower molars 
are directed forward and inwards ; the outside presents a strong 
groove dividing it into two parts by the folding of the enamel, 
while, upon the inside, there are three rather distinct grooves 
formed in the same manner by the enamel, but less distinct than 
the single outside groove. When the tooth is worn down, the 
enamel upon the inside presents three foldings upon itself, but on 
the outside, only one ; the middle folding is the shortest, and the 
point of flexure is a little in advance of the one from the outside, 
in the first tooth, which is always less worn than the others, in 
which the middle foldings stand face to face. In the upper molars 
the inside groove throws the smallest division of the tooth to the 
anterior side, and the posterior half has one general fold of enam- 
el, which embraces two foldings from the outside, an arrangement 
the reverse of that in the molars of the lower jaw ; the inferior 















i, 2 










grinders wear away most behind, the front remaining the longest ; 
but the whole presents a concave, while in the upper jaw, the 
wearing produces a uniform convex surface. 


(Measurements taken from an old female skull.) 

Length of the lower jaw over the palatine bones, 

" from the nasal bones to the crucial ridge, 

" " end of the incisors to the nasal bones, 

Width at the arches, 

Length from the incisors to the meatus, ... 

" of the molars above the sockets, 

" from the incisors to the base of the molars, . 

" " base of the first molar to the foramen magnum 

" of the space occupied by the upper molars, . 
Width from outside of the posterior grinder to the other, 
Height of the skull at the insertion of the molars, 
Breadth of the skull at the base of the processes of the meatus, 

Observations. This remarkable animal is probably driven 
entirely from the bounds of Massachusetts. It has become, like 
some other animals, extinct, and is known only in historical 
records as having formerly been a tenant of our waters. 

There is but little doubt, that all the larger streams, as the Con- 
necticut, the Hoosic, Housatonic, and Merrimack, as well as some 
of the lakes, were more or less frequented by this animal. The 
principal circumstance on which our evidence of the fact rests, 
is the frequent occurrence of such names as these, the Beaver- 
Dam, Beaver-Meadow, Beaver-Lake, Beaver-Falls, &c. 

I shall not enter largely into the history of the Beaver, though 
volumes have been written on its sagacity and remarkable intelli- 
gence, from which it would seem that the authors could not say 
too much in its praise, nor relate stories too wonderful to be 
believed, or too fictitious to satisfy the curiosity of the credulous. 

That it possesses a degree of sagacity above some animals, is, 
perhaps, not too wonderful to be believed ; but it is probable that all 
the curious stories have arisen from the circumstance of its being 
a quadruped endowed with the instinct of accommodating itself to 
circumstances, and of providing for itself a curious habitation. 
What is this more than that possessed by the Squirrel, who builds 


his nest in the tree-top in the summer when the leaves are thick, 
and serve to conceal his habitation, but, as soon as the leaves fall, 
betakes itself to a more secure retreat in the hollow trunk ? 

The Beaver is a social animal, and dwells, when undisturbed, 
in a community. Individuals labor together for the common wel- 
fare to a certain extent, each pair, however, preparing their own 
habitation. The houses are made of sticks, mud, and stones, 
mixed up together without order. These the Beaver carries, 
stones, sticks, &c, by holding them with his fore paws against 
his throat and breast. The work is always performed in the night, 
and carried on with celerity and despatch. The door leading 
to the hut is always on the side farthest from the land, and is 
placed deep in the water, and near the foundation of the house. 

Perhaps one of the most remarkable facts in the history of the 
Beaver is its ability to accommodate itself to circumstances. 
Thus, when it is frequently disturbed, it ceases to build dams or 
houses, and takes up its abode in the banks of streams. This, 
however, is not singular, nor confined to the Beaver. Other 
animals, also, are driven to this alternative, and accommodate 
themselves to a course which seems at first view constrained and 

In its travels from place to place, it is extremely cautious and 
wary, and guards against detection ; and, were it not obliged to 
satisfy the calls of nature by cutting down small trees, it would 
ordinarily escape the vigilance of the hunter. 

It feeds on the willow, birch, poplar, and alder, and but rarely 
on any of the pine tribe ; also upon the roots of the nuphar, which 
grow at the bottom of lakes, ponds, and rivers. 

The Beaver produces from two to five young at a litter. 
Young Beavers are said to be playful, and to imitate both in their 
action and voice the gambols of children. 

The Beaver is susceptible of domestication, and becomes a 
great pet, and extremely fond of being handled. It is said, that, 
in this state, they still preserve some of their instincts ; for, on 
the approach of a storm, they will uniformly cut the furniture of the 
room, such as chair-posts, &c, and lay the foundation of a dam. 
The sticks which they thus cut, are usually placed against some 
open space, as a door, or laid across the corner of the room. 


Though the Beaver, in its savage state, subsists entirely on 
vegetables, as bark and roots, yet, when tamed, it does not re- 
fuse meat. 

Genus Fiber. Cuv. Geoff. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors § ; canines £=£ ; 
molars f=f ; = 16. Molars with a flat crown and zigzag plates 
of enamel ; fore feet with four toes, and the rudiment of a thumb ; 
posterior with five, edged with stiff and coarse bristles ; tail long, 
compressed laterally ; naked, except a few scattering hairs, some- 
what granulated. 

1. Fiber Zibethicus. Desm. Muskrat. 

Mus Zibethicus, Lin., Turton's, p. 79. 

Fiber Zibethicus, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 132. Richardson, Fauna Bor. Am., 

p. 115. 
Musk-Rar, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 58. 
Figure ; Ibid., p. 21. 

Fur clear brown, tinged with red above, cinereous beneath. 

Description. Body thick, and somewhat oval ; neck short ; 
ears short and partially concealed in a dense fur, and about as wide 
as high ; eyes small, mystachial bristles numerous ; tail long, 
somewhat linear, naked, compressed laterally, and slightly curved. 

Observations. This animal is still numerous in our marshes and 
mill-ponds, though it is hunted with a good deal of avidity. It 
makes holes or burrows in the banks, and sometimes builds 
houses w T ith some ingenuity in the marshes, which appear like 
little hillocks. From these habitations it may be driven by being 
disturbed, and makes its escape by plunging into the water. The 
fur of the Muskrat is quite fine, and is used in various ways. In 
August, it is sometimes preserved on account of its pale color. 
It is not till November that it is good, and it is still more valuable 
in the spring. 

FAMILY IX. LEPORID^E. The Hare Family. 

Characters of the family. The family of the Leporidae is con- 
sidered by naturalists as the best defined group of beings in the 


animal kingdom. It is distinguished from every other by well 
marked characters, whether we consider its habits or configura- 
tion. The great length of the ears, the prominence of the eyes, 
the length of the posterior extremities, and the shortness of the 
tail, are characters which are obvious at the first glance, and which 
are so prominent, that they may be considered as family features 
sufficiently common to distinguish the whole group. Besides, 
being, as it were, unarmed, their instinct of escaping their foes 
by flight may be considered common to the whole race. 

The heads of the individuals belonging to this family, are nar- 
row, or compressed, which arises from the straightness of the 
zygomatic arches, which, in the Carnivora, swell outwards, and 
help to extend the width of the cranium immediately in advance 
of, and above the insertion of the ear. The head, too, is com- 
paratively long, though not terminated by an acute or extended 
snout. The eyes are prominent, and placed laterally ; the ears 
are planted apparently near each other ; the bony process of the 
meatus externus is directed upward and backward, a direction 
almost the reverse of some of the pugnacious animals, as the 
Weasels. This circumstance, connected with its size, may be 
ranked as a remarkable adaptation, in which organization and 
instinctive properties blend and harmoniously combine. The 
external ear, as has already been remarked, is very large ; it is 
elastic also, and very movable, and its position during its ordi- 
nary pursuits, as feeding, tending its young, &c, is directed 
backwards on the line with the bony canal, which opens down- 
wards and forwards. This canal is comparatively long, and serves 
thereby to increase the strength of the vibrations of the air ; a 
whisper, the snap of a stick, the rustling of the leaves, is heard 
at a distance to give timely warning of danger from behind, while 
the prominent eye, quite lateral as to position, perceives in time 
the approach of an enemy before. Thus it is, that nature has 
taken care that this unprotected race should not be left to the 
mercy of implacable enemies, without guarding it almost as 
effectually as the less powerful of the Carnivora. 


Genus Lepus. Lin. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors \ ; canines £=£ ; 
molars f § ; = 28. Grinders flat, with the plates of enamel trans- 
verse ; tail short. 

1. Lepus Americanus. Erxl. American Hare. 

Lepus Hudsonius, Pallas, Glires, p. 30, An. 1778. 

American Hare, Foster, Phil. Trans., lxii. p. 376. Pennant, Arct. Zool., i. 

p. 90. Hearne, Journ,, p. 384. Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 157. 
Lepus Americanus, Sabine, Franklin's Journ. p. 664. Richardson, App. 

Parry's 2d Voyage, p. 324, and Fauna Bor. Am., p. 217. Harlan, 

Fauna, p. 192. 

Specific characters. Head, body, and upper side of the tail, 
brown ; ears shorter than the head, the upper portion bordered in 
the winter on the outside by a dark brown edge, internally pale, 
and nearly naked in summer ; tail white beneath. 

Description. The dress of this animal varies but little during 
the year. Along the back, the brown is darker during the winter, 
and there is also a greater predominance of black shining hairs ; 
the general color of the head, rump, and sides, is paler, or a 
yellowish or grayish-brown ; belly, sides, and thighs, white, with 
a slight tinge of yellowish ; chin yellowish white, the low T er por- 
tion grayish ; the upper portion of the tail yellowish-brown ; the 
darker portions of the back arranged somewhat in lines ; ears 
edged with blackish, but this does not extend to the base at the 
posterior margin ; fur plumbeous for two thirds of its length, then 
dull yellowish-brown ; the intermixed coarse hairs are whitish at 
their roots, then black, and then whitish, or slightly tinged with 
brown, terminating in a glossy black ; the fur of the belly is 
plumbeous near the skin, and terminated w 7 ith white ; general 
color of the legs yellowish-brown ; mystachial bristles black at 
base, and terminated usually with brown, in addition to which, 
there are three or four black, stiff hairs over the eyes ; around the 
eyes, also, there is a circle of yellowish-white ; nails brownish, 
nearly straight, five upon the fore, and four upon the hind feet ; 
incisors white, linear, external surface grooved near the inner mar- 


gins, inferior flat on the external surfaces, and slightly grooved on 
the internal, which are considerably narrower ; cutting surfaces 
oblique, and ground down like a chisel. 


ft. in. t'ths. 

Length of the head and body, . . . . 110 

Head, 035 

Tail, 15 

Ears behind, 2 2 

Middle claw of the fore foot, . . . . 3 

■ " " hind foot, . . . . 4£ 

Height at the fore legs, 7 


From the incisors to the occipital spine, . . 3 2£ 

From the incisors to the foramen magnum, . 2 3 

" " " meatus extern us, . .024 

Height, 12 

Width at the zygomatic arches, . . . .015 

Length of the lower jaw, 2 3 

Observations. The American Rabbit, as it is sometimes called, 
exhibits more of the habits of the English animal of this name, 
than either of the other species peculiar to this country. Thus, 
when pursued, it flies to a hole for shelter, and, though it does 
not burrow, it seeks some excavation, shallow, it is true, for the 
rearing of its young. Its color scarcely changes in this climate. 
Those in the neighbourhood of Williamstown are of a beautiful 
glossy brown during the winter. I have, however, seen individu- 
als which were distinctly gray during winter in the mountain 
towns of Hampshire County. These were always confined to 
swamps, though it would be perhaps safer to make the remark in 
qualified terms, as my observations are too limited to be made a 
general expression. I have thought it possible that we might 
have two species of small hares, one of which is confined mostly 
to wet and low places, and changes its coat in winter from brown 
to gray. The suggestion is made for the purpose of exciting 
inquiry. I have not been able to procure one of the gray va- 
rieties, since engaged in this work. 


2. Lepus Virginianus. Harlan. Prairie Hare. 

Lepus Virginianus, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 196. Richardson, Fauna Bor. 

Am., p. 224. 
The Varying Hare, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 163. 

Specific characters. Color of the summer dress on the upper 
parts, dark umber-brown, of the winter, white ; ears shorter than 
the head ; ends and margins mixed with white and blackish-brown ; 
tail white beneath. 

Description. In winter, the dress consists of a long coat of 
fine fur, which, when lying smooth, is a pure white ; if it is 
ruffled, the wood-brown appears beneath. The ears are more or 
less mottled with oblong, brown, and yellowish-brown spots, which 
are more numerous on the anterior than on the posterior side, and 
which extend quite down to the insertion ; they are also bordered 
with blackish-brown one third of the distance to the base, slightly 
intermixed with yellow-brown ; the inside is white, with a tinge 
of yellow ; the mystachial bristles are black at base, and ter- 
minated with white, or black throughout ; there are four or five 
stiff, black hairs above the eyelids, and many beneath the chin ; 
the fur on the back is plumbeous at base, then wood-brown, and 
lastly snow-white ; there are also interspersed many hairs, which 
are strong and white their whole length ; on the throat it is paler, 
while on the head it is darker, but on the belly white ; the arrange- 
ment of the colors of the tail is the same as on the other parts, 
but less conspicuous ; upon the outer portion of the extremities 
it is the same as on the back, while on the inner, it is like that of 
the belly. Nails narrow, nearly straight, hind one broader and 
longer than those before. In the summer, the color of the dress 
on the upper parts is dark umber-brown, which arises partly from 
an intermixture of black, shining hairs ; the fur at the roots is the 
same as in winter, but towards the extremity, tinged with yellow- 
ish-brown and black ; under jaw smoke gray ; a white circle sur- 
rounds each eye, but the margin of the eyelids is dark-brown as 
in winter ; the white color commences between the fore legs, and 
extends over the belly, and predominates on the extremities ; the 
sides present a dull, pale yellowish-brown, in the midst of which 
there are scattered black hairs ; the ears are nearly naked in sum- 


mer, but the fur remains on the margins, of a mixed white and 
blackish-brown, the latter prevailing at the tips ; the tail is white 
beneath ; on its upper surface, the gray and brown colors appear 
through the white ; mystachial bristles as in winter. 


ft. in. t'tbs. 

Length of the head and body, 17 

" from the nose to the middle claw, . . . 2 3 5 

" of the head, 4 3 

" from the nose to the insertion of the ear, . . 3 5 

" " " ears posteriorly, . . . 3 5 

" of the three inside nails of the hind feet, . . 5 

Tail, 015 


From the insertion of the incisors to the occipital spine, . 4 6| 

" " " " foramen magnum, 2 6£ 

" " " " meatus extern us, 2 9 

Width, 17 

Height, 14 

Observations. Godman, in his " Natural History," gives the 
length of this animal as 14 inches, while Richardson, in his 
" Northern Zoology," gives it as 19 inches. The specimen 
before me is 16 inches. There is, therefore, some variation, 
probably, in full grown individuals, which depends on climate, 
food, &c. The skull of my specimen is longer and larger than 
the one measured by Richardson. This species is common 
throughout the New England States, and is known generally as 
the White Rabbit. It is found, however, far to the north, as at 
Fort Enterprise on McKenzie's River, in latitude 6S°. As food, 
it is usually esteemed. It is taken in snares and traps set in its 
paths, into which it is often driven by hounds. The fur is not 
much esteemed. The limbs of Rabbits and Hares are so con- 
structed, that their movements are almost necessarily in leaps or 

FAMILY X. MURIDJE. The Rat Family. 
Genus Arvicola. Desm. Mus. Lin. 

— . 

— > 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors ■§ ; canines £ 
molars |=f ; = 16 ; deeply grooved externally. Muzzle obtuse ; 
tail round Vmd hairy, shorter than the body. 


1. Arvicola hirsutus. 

Color of the head and body above, tawny brown, beneath, ash- 
gray ; tail less than half the length of the body, thinly covered 
with hair. 

Description. Fur beneath bluish-black, the extremities of most 
of the hairs are reddish, and hence give it somewhat of a tawny or 
reddish appearance ; these are intermixed with a few which are 
entirely black ; the color of the fur upon the belly the same as 
above, though the hairs are light, or ash-gray ; the nose is obtuse, 
and surrounded by numerous dark-brown mystachial bristles ; in- 
cisors yellow ; fore feet short ; the three middle nails of the pos- 
terior feet, and the two middle ones of the anterior, longest, and 
nearly of equal length ; external ears rather large, and partly 
concealed in the fur, broad at base, and rounded ; tail obscurely 
ringed and tapering. 


in. t'tlis. 

Whole length, 6 5 

Tail, 1 7£ 

Observations. The Meadow Mouse makes its burrows in banks 
of soft earth, under stones and stone heaps, from which there are 
well-trod paths diverging in all directions. It is a vegetable 
feeder, and subsists on seeds, grains, nuts, &c. It is injurious 
by feeding upon the roots of vegetables, and in hay ricks, by 
cutting up the dried hay into mere fragments, and rendering it 
entirely unfit for the use of cattle. It has a great many enemies, 
but, notwithstanding, by its excessive multiplication, it is scarcely 
diminished in numbers. 

This species seems to be more uniformly colored than others 
of this genus, the lighter color beneath being confined to a com- 
paratively small portion of the belly, and is never white. 

2. Arvicola albo-rufescens. Nobis. 

Specific characters. Fur entirely white ; hairs at the extremi- 
ties pale yellowish-brown ; white beneath ; upon the belly and 
chin paler than above. 



in. t'ths. 

Whole length, 5 1 

Tail, 15 

Observations. This species differs from the preceding in color. 
It is far less common. I have met with only two individuals. 
These were discovered in Williamstown, four years since. That 
it is not an albino, is rendered probable by the color of its eyes, 
which were black, and that it is not an accidental variety, is also 
probable from the fact, that the two individuals belonged to the 
same nest. The size appears to be less than the common Field 

3. Arvicola Emmonsii. De Kay. 

Specific characters. Color brown above, which extends along 
the tail in the form of a rather wide line ; white beneath, includ- 
ing the feet ; hind legs longer and more robust than the fore legs ; 
tail a little longer than the body. 

Description. Head rather large and obtuse ; ears roundish ; 
naked on the upper border on both sides ; tongue smooth ; in- 
cisors without grooves ; molars tuberculated, the first in each jaw 
the largest, diminishing in size to the last, which, when worn, 
present a circular disc, but almost without tubercles ; four toes 
on the fore feet, with a rudiment of a thumb, but without a nail ; 
five on the hind feet ; nails concealed in the white hair ; hind legs 
the longest ; tail tapering, hairy ; mystachial bristles numerous, 
some of which are black or dark-brown for one half their length, 
the remainder grayish or whitish ; color brown above ; darker 
along the back than the sides ; the former color extends along the 
upper side of the tail in the form of a stripe, and occupies about 
one third of its circumference ; nose also brown, the upper part 
like the back ; the brownish extends to the heel joint behind ; 
white beneath, including also the feet, nostrils, the front and back 
part of the fore legs, and extending along the sides to the thighs, 
which are also white on the front and back parts, and running to 
the extremity of the tail ; feet all white, which gives a very clean 
and neat appearance to the animal ; line dividing the brown from 
the white well defined ; fur bluish-black on all those parts which 
are brown. 



in. t'ths. 

Whole length, 6 

Head, from the nose to the ears, 10 

Tail, 2 5 

Longest of the whiskers, 15 

Observations. This beautiful animal inhabits meadows and 
wooded places. It is often seen in fields recently mowed, and is 
known by the name of Deer Mouse, in which is also included the 
Gerbillus or Jumping Mouse. Our animal, though it leaps well, 
yet cannot take such long and rapid strides as the true Jumping 
Mouse. It is, however, quite active, and difficult to capture. 
It is probably native, and originally inhabited woods and woody 
places, but has now taken up its abode in places where grain and 
seeds of grass are plentiful. It appears to be the connecting link 
between the Arvicola and Gerbillus, having quite a long tail, and 
stout posterior extremities. 

Genus Mus. Lin. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors § ; canines £e£ 5 
molars §=J ; = 16 ; grinders simple, with tubercular summits ; 
superior incisive teeth wedge-shaped ; inferior compressed and 
pointed. Tail nearly naked, annulated with scales. 

1. Mus musculus. Lin. The Common Mouse. 

Common Mouse, Pennant, Brit. Zool., i. p. 122. 

Mus domesticus vulgaris, minor, Ray. 

The Common Mouse, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 84. 

Specific characters. Fur brownish ash above, light ash beneath ; 
tail rather shorter than the body ; ears about half the length of the 

Description. Head tapering ; muzzle acute ; ears rounded ; 
ears, feet, and tail clothed with only a small quantity of hair ; 
eyes prominent and bright ; whiskers numerous, extending in 
graceful lines around the head. It has four digits on its anterior 
feet, and a rudimental thumb destitute of a claw ; on the hind feet 
there are five. 


Observations. This animal is not a native of this country, but 
is supposed to have been introduced. Though a beautiful little 
animal, still it is not regarded with much favor ; the unpleasant 
odor produced where it resides, serving to produce a strong prej- 
udice and disgust. 

2. Mus rattus. Lin. Black Rat. 

Mus domesticus major, Ray. 

Black Rat, Pennant, Zool., i. p. 113. Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 148. God- 
man, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 83. 

Specific characters. Grayish-black above, ash beneath ; ears 
half the length of the head ; tail longer than the body. 

Description. Head elongated ; muzzle tapering ; mystachial 
bristles numerous ; upper jaw projects beyond the lower, which 
is remarkably short ; tongue smooth ; ears rounded, simple, 
naked, and half as long as the head ; eyes large and projecting, 
though not remarkably so ; feet plantigrade ; five toes on each 
foot, concealed in the skin, excepting the terminal joint and 
claw ; tail longer than the body, almost destitute of hair, but 
covered with rings of scales ; color of the upper parts grayish- 
black ; of the lower, dull ash ; feet and tail dusky. 

Observations. The Black Rat is supposed by many to have 
been introduced into this country from Europe. Others, how- 
ever, are undecided as it regards this question. It was once more 
numerous than it is at present. This animal I found quite numer- 
ous a few years since about an old mill in Williamstown, which is 
the only place in which I have met with it. It is supposed to 
have been extirpated, or driven away from its former residences 
by the Brown or Norway Rat. 

3. Mus decumanus. Pallas. Brown Rat. 

Mus Norwegicus, Brisson, Reg. An., p. 173. Erxl., Syst., p. 381. 

Norway Rat, Pennant, Brit. Zool., i. p. 115. 

The Common, Brown, or Norway Rat, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 78. 

Specific characters. Color of the upper parts grayish-brown, 
w r ith a tawny tint ; dirty white beneath ; ears and muzzle nearly 


naked ; tail ringed and scaly, each scale having a small hair grow- 
ing from beneath it. 

Description. The muzzle is less tapering than in the preceding 
species. The tail has about ISO rings formed by the scales. 


in. t'ths. 

Length of the head and body, . . . 10 8 

Head, 2 

Ear, 8 

Tail, 82 

Observations. The habits of the two preceding species of 
Rats are quite similar ; they feed on every thing of household 
consumption, and frequently make great havoc in cellars, fields of 
corn, and granaries. They are fond of meat, and will frequently 
destroy large quantities of pork. Their depredations do not end 
here, as they destroy eggs and young poultry. They are bold 
and furious when attacked by man or dog, and fly at either with 
fury when so confined that escape is hopeless. They breed 
several times annually, and produce from ten to fourteen at a litter. 
Much might be said of this bold and mischievous animal ; but it is 
sufficient to remark, that it is an annoying plague, whose extirpa- 
tion is universally sought, but which cannot be effected, in con- 
sequence of its cunning, and great fecundity. The best method 
of destroying it is to mix plaster of Paris largely with meal, 
which it will eat, and which, by hardening in its stomach and in- 
testines, produces death in a short time. 

Genus Arctomys. Desm, 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors § ; canines £=£ ; 
molars f=f ; = 22. Head somewhat triangular ; ears as wide as 
long ; eyes small ; feet robust ; tail half the length of the body. 

1. Arctomys monax. Gmel. The Marmot. The Woodchuck. 

Mus monax, Lin. 

Ground Hog, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 158. 

The Maryland Marmot, Pemi., Synop. 27; Quad., ii. 398. Godman, Nat. 
Hist., ii. p. 100. 

Figure (poor) ; Griffith's Cuvier, iii. 170. 


Specific characters. Fur rusty-brown ; hair grayish at the tips ; 
face pale bluish-ash ; ears short and broad ; fore feet four-toed, 
those behind have five ; tail black, somewhat bushy. 

Description. Body thick ; the general color is a rusty brown ; 
the tail and feet black ; ears rounded, and broad at base, placed 
high up and far back on the head, provided with a muscular ap- 
paratus for bringing down the upper portion over the orifice, bor- 
dered with grayish anteriorly ; tail somewhat bushy at the ex- 
tremity, and black or very dark-brown ; mystachial bristles black ; 
the fore feet have only four toes with the rudiment of a fifth ; legs 
robust and strong ; nails long, curved, sharp, and brown, and 
fitted for burrowing ; stronger before than behind. 

Observations. This interesting animal is one of the most com- 
mon in New England. It is vigilant, and though not very active, 
still it is almost impossible to surprise and take it at a distance 
from the burrow. It is perfectly cleanly in all its habits, is sus- 
ceptible of domestication, and becomes a very agreeable pet. 
It is well known to hybernate. It goes into winter quarters some 
time in October, unless the weather is quite mild, and the means 
of subsistence plentiful ; it is then very fat. Its sense of hearing 
is extremely acute, and hence it is so rarely surprised away from 
home, as the least noise, when it is collecting the materials for its 
nest, or feeding, is timely perceived, so that it escapes while the 
suspicious object is at a distance. 

Genus Sciurus. Lin. The Squirrel. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors § ; canines |=f ; 
molars f =f ; = 22. Body elongated ; upper lip divided ; pos- 
terior extremities longer than the anterior ; upper incisive teeth 
chisel-shaped ; lower pointed ; molars tuberculated ; feet five- 
toed ; tail long, bushy, with the hairs directed laterally. 


1. Sciurus leucotis. Gappar. Common, or Little Gray 


Sciurus cinereus, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 173. 
The Common Gray Squirrel, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 131. 
Figure ; Ibid., p. 133, f. 2. 

Specific characters. Color fine bluish-gray, varying somewhat 
in kind and degree ; on some parts, as on the head and along the 
sides, there is a yellow or golden hue intermixed with the general 
color ; this yellowness is quite obvious where the white hair of 
the belly approaches the gray of the sides, and also on the anterior 
part of the fore, and superior part of the hind feet. 

Description. Without entering into a detailed description of 
this common species, I shall barely remark upon the skull and 
teeth. Incisors yellow externally, convex outwardly ; upper, 
slightly grooved, and nearly if not quite uniform in width from 
their insertion to their points ; the lower become narrower to- 
wards their points ; in the upper jaw there are four true molars, 
and a rudiment of the fifth placed towards the inside of the first 
true molar ; it is a mere conical peg inserted into the jaw, which 
probably falls out in early life. 


in. t'tlis. 

Length from the extreme of the nasal bones to the occipital spine, 2 7 
" from the incisor to the meatus, 1 7& 

2. Sciurus vulpinus. Gmel. The Gray Squirrel. Fox 


The Fox Squirrel, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 128. 

Specific characters. Color varies from white to pale-gray and 
black ; various shades of red, mottled, &c. ; generally larger than 
the preceding. 

Observations. This Squirrel presents so many variations of 
color, especially in a more southern latitude, that many individu- 
als have mistaken it for two or three distinct species. It is not 
very common in the woods of Massachusetts ; the black, or tawny 


black, variety is the most common ; the mottled varieties I have 
never met with. Some individuals which were tawny upon the 
belly, and gray, I have repeatedly seen. The flesh is not so 
sweet as that of the common gray variety ; it is usually red, and 
not so white as in the former species. The body is about four- 
teen inches in length, the tail sixteen ; ears quite hairy inside and 
out, and not so high as in the former species. 

3. Sciurus niger. Lin. The Black Squirrel. 

Black Squirrel, Pennant, Arct. Zool., i. 138. 

Sciurus niger, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 177. Richardson, Fauna Bor. 

Am., p. 191. 
The Black Squirrel, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 133. 
Figure ; Ibid., p, 138, f. 3. 

Specific characters. Color jet black, with a fine, short, glossy 
pelage, with but a small quantity of intermixed gray ; on the 
belly there is a prevalence of reddish-brown ; in the summer the 
black is not so pure as in winter. 

Observations. The Black Squirrel rarely varies much in its 
color. It may be distinguished from the black varieties of the 
other species, by the pureness of the black, which in the mere 
varieties of the other species partakes largely of the brown and 
reddish hues, and also by the softness and fineness of the hair. 
It is far less common in the western part of Massachusetts than 
the Gray Squirrel, and, indeed, it is very rare to meet with one. 

4. Sciurus Hudsonius. Gmel. The Common Red Squirrel. 


Sciurus Hudsonius, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 185. Richardson, Fauna 

Bor. Am., p. 187. 
The Hudson's Bay Squirrel, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 138. 
Figure ; Ibid., p. 133, f. 1. 

Specific characters. Superior parts of the body reddish brown, 
varying in intensity, and shaded with black ; inferior, white, tar- 
nished more or less with reddish yellow ; longitudinal line between 
the white and red somewhat darker than the back ; ears tufted. 


Description. The under part of the head and front of the fore 
limbs are reddish-brown, like the back ; the insides of the thighs 
are colored like the belly, and on each side, or on the flanks, 
there is a blackish line ; the tail is of a reddish-brown color above ; 
mystachial bristles long and black. It resembles the common 
Red Squirrel, or Sciurus vulgaris, of Europe, more than any spe- 
cies which we have. The range of the species is much farther 
to the north than either of the preceding. They are subject to 
a disease of the incisive teeth, in the progress of which they grow 
to an excessive length. All the Rodentia appear also subject to 
the same misfortune. 

5. Sciurus Striatus. Klein. The Striped Squirrel. 

Sciurus Carolinensis, Brisson, An. 155, No. 9. 

Sciurus Lysteri, Ray. 

Sciurus striatus, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 183. 

The Ground Squirrel, Godman, Nat Hist., ii. p. 142. 

Sciurus (Tamias) Lysteri, Richardson, Fauna Bor. Am., p. 181. 

Figure ; Godman, ii. p. 143, f. 3. Richardson, p. 181. 

Specific characters. Striped with five parallel and longitudinal 
black lines ; the two lateral ones separated from each other by a 
white line ; white beneath ; eyelids bordered with white, which 
runs back a little towards the ear, in which there is a touch of 
black running in the same direction. 

Description. The general color inclines to reddish rather than 
brown ; the lines are obscurely bordered with red ; the white 
beneath extends down the fore legs behind ; the sides of the body 
are paler, and inclining to yellowish ; tail gray, the proportion of 
black greatest, and with a tendency to form a lateral stripe, red 
at base, sub-ancipital ; ears are proportionally high and rounded. 


in. t'ths. 

Whole length, 6 

Tail, 3 8 

Observations. This common little animal lives entirely under 
ground or in hollow logs. It very rarely ascends trees in search 


of fruit, nuts, &c, but seeks them on the ground, and lays up an 
abundant store. It ascends trees to conceal itself when pursued, 
if no other way of escape presents itself; but, if alarmed, it 
escapes from its place of refuge at all hazards, with an instinctive 
knowledge, that the place of greatest safety is its burrow. It 
does considerable injury to corn fields when the plant is just out 
of the ground, by destroying the kernel. 

Genus Pteromys. Illiger. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors § ; canines £=£ ; 
molars £=£ ; = 22. Skin of the sides extended between the an- 
terior and posterior extremities, so as to form a sail ; tail mod- 
erate, flattened, and distichous ; anterior feet four-toed, posterior 

1. Pteromys volucella. Lin. The Flying Squirrel. 

Pteromys volucella, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 187. 
The Common Flying Squirrel, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 146. 
Figure ; Ibid., p. 143, f. 1. 

Specific characters. Color brownish-ash ; the under parts of 
the body white, with a yellowish margin where the color of the 
back and belly approach each other ; the four toes of the anterior 
feet nearly equal ; the four of the posterior feet are also equal, or 
nearly so, while the fifth or outside one is shortest. 

Description. Some individuals are darker than others, and the 
upper side of the tail is fawn-colored ; the ears are large, thin, 
and rounded, nearly naked ; mystachial bristles numerous ; eyes 
black and prominent. This animal is about five inches in length, 
and the tail three and a half, or nearly four. It is common 
throughout the States, is nocturnal in its habits, and may be tamed. 
It has a fine, soft, beautiful fur, more so than either of the species 
of Squirrels. It builds its nest generally in hollow stumps or trees, 
and sometimes in thick brush-wood. 

Genus Gerbillus. Desm. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors § ; canines £=£ ; 
molars |E| 5 = 16- Anterior extremities short; posterior long, 


and formed for jumping ; the former four-toed, and the latter five- 
toed ; tail long, round, and covered with hair. 

1. Gerbillus Canadensis. Desm. The Jumping Mouse. 

Dipus Canadensis, Davies, Lin. Trans., iv. p. 155. 
Dipus Americanus, Barton, Am. Phil. Trans., iv. p. 114. 
Gerbillus Canadensis, Harlan, Fauna A;n., p. 155. 
The Jumping Mouse, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 94. 
Figure ; Ibid., p. 93, f. 1 and 2. 

Specific characters. Head, back, and upper parts of the body 
reddish-brown ; the under parts, and inside of the limbs yellowish- 
white, or cream-colored ; tail longer than the body. 

Description. The size of this animal is nearly the same as 
that of the common Mouse ; the color on the back is a darker 
brown than elsewhere ; near the lower part of the nostrils there 
is a band, or yellowish streak, extending the whole length of the 
head, and the superior and inferior side of the fore limbs ; it 
passes also along the body, and terminates at the joint of the thighs ; 
the upper jaw projects beyond the lower ; ears not large, oval 
and hairy ; mystachial bristles numerous and long ; on the pos- 
terior extremities the distance from the heel to the toes is great ; 
the three middle toes are nearly equal in length ; the inner one 
shortest ; the tail is much longer than the body ; upper sides slate- 
brown, beneath yellowish cream-color, and terminated with a 
pencil of hairs. 

FAMILY XL HYSTRICIDiE. The Porcupine Family. 
Genus Hystrix. Lin. 

u •> 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors § ; canines £=£ 
molars fEf ; = 20. Body thick, and covered partly with spines, 
coarse hair, and fur ; four feet four-toed, and hind feet five-toed ; 
tail prehensile. 


1. Hystrix dorsata. Lin. Gmel. The Porcupine. 

Hystrix Hudsonius, Briss., 128. 

Hystrix dorsata, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 190. 

The Canada Porcupine, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 150. 

Hystrix pilosus, Richardson, Fauna Bor. Am., p. 214. 

Figure ; Godman, ii. p. 150, f. 2. Griffith's Cuvier, iii. p. 206. 

Specific characters. Color black ; body covered with coarse 
hair, intermingled with pointed spines, whose shafts are white, but 
their ends or tips are black ; tail thick, prehensile, and ancipital ; 
nails long, and moderately curved. 

Description. The general color is somewhat various ; it is 
black, or brownish black ; limbs robust ; quills upon the head and 
extremities short and stiff ; those upon the back long ; many 
short ones intermingled with the hair all over the animal ; neck 
thick, belly large, and limbs nearly equal in length ; nose obtuse ; 
molar teeth of the upper jaw inclining outwards ; those of the 
lower inwards ; each set or line standing in an angular direction ; 
crowns flat ; each molar of the upper jaw presents a single sulcus 
on the inside, deeper and more strongly marked in the first and 
last ; the outside presents three sulci separated by double lines of 
enamel, or a plate of enamel folded on itself; the lower molars 
resemble the upper, except that the arrangement of the sulci is 
reversed, the single deep sulcus appearing on the outside, and the 
three which constitute the principal grinding surface, on the inside ; 
there are no lateral grooves as in the teeth of the Beaver ; the 
grinders wear posteriorly, the jaw admitting of motion principally 
from before, backwards, or the reverse. 


ft. in. t'tha. 

Whole length, 220 

Tail, 075 

Height of the back, 12 

Length from the nasal to the occipital spine, . . . .039 
From the insertion of the incisors to the foramen magnum, 3 8 

Height of the upper jaw, 16 

Width of the top of the skull over the eyes, . . . 14 
Longest spines, 025 


Observations. The Porcupine is a sluggish animal, passing 
much of its time in sleep. It is clumsy in its form, though it 
climbs and moves about on trees with much more agility than one 
would expect when seeing it upon the ground. It is herbivorous, 
living on fruits, grain, and bark of the roots and branches of trees. 
It dwells in dens, or under rocks, and in the hollows of trees. 
When assailed, it immediately throws its head between the fore 
legs, and erects the spines on its back, and at the same time 
elevates its posterior parts and tail ; if it is now touched, it gives 
a smart lateral blow with its tail ; if this happens to come in con- 
tact with any object, it is left with numerous detached quills ad- 
hering to it, which, if not removed, will gradually work into the 
flesh. It therefore becomes a formidable weapon of defence, and 
serves to keep dogs, foxes, and wolves at bay. If it is irritated 
with a stick, it utters a plaintive cry, and immediately throws 
itself into a posture of defence, with a quick motion, and holds 
itself in readiness to inflict a blow on the disturbing object. The 
flesh is red, exhales an unpleasant, sweetish odor, and is rarely 
relished by individuals, except those in a savage state. It travels 
two or three miles from home, but returns ordinarily to its den. 
Those about Williamstown seem to reside under rocks, or to live 
in families, or at least they are known to maintain a residence at 
one place for a long time, which becomes the abode of one or 
more individuals successively for years. They are supposed to 
bring forth two at a time. Like other wild animals, they travel 
in what are termed by hunters run-ivays, and form thereby well 
beaten paths. This animal is more nearly allied to the Beaver 
than to the Squirrels. The general form of the skull, the arrange- 
ment of the teeth, and the food on which it lives, &c, make a 
very close approximation to it, though the spines and coarseness 
of the hair and fur present features very unlike it. Its range 
north extends beyond Churchill's River. It is also found far west 
and south ; hence it is widely distributed. Though it is common 
on the mountains in the vicinity of Williamstown, I have never 
seen it in Middlefield or Chester, or even heard of it in any of the 
neighbouring towns. An albino is sometimes met with in the 
north part of the State of New York. 

In the young, long, white, coarse hairs appear to take the place 
of quills along the back and sides. 



Characters of the order. Animals embraced in this order are 
distinguished from others by the want of incisive teeth in the 
upper jaw. Between the molar teeth and the place usually occupied 
by the incisive teeth, there is a vacant space, as in the Rodentia ; 
in a few of the genera, however, there are canine teeth. There are 
generally six molars on each side of both jaws. The incisors of 
the lower jaw are almost universally eight in number. The feet 
are all two-toed, and the toes are covered with hoofs ; in some 
genera there are rudimental toes covered also with small hoofs. 

The most singular faculty possessed by this order is that of 
rumination, or the power of returning the food to the mouth, to 
subject it to a second mastication after it has once been swallowed. 

To the animals of this order, Dr. Godman remarks, that man 
is more largely indebted, than to all the rest of animated nature. 
The mass of his food is obtained from their flesh, and there is no 
part of their bodies from which he does not derive additions to 
his comforts, and assistance to his arts. Their hides, horns, 
bones, hair, flesh, fat, milk, and even their blood, are in hourly 
demand. Many of them, during their lives, yield him valuable 
services, as beasts of draught and burden, and contribute largely 
to his sustenance and luxury w r hen they are finally slaughtered. 
Peaceful and patient in their dispositions, they feed exclusively 
on the verdure which is scattered over the earth, and prepare this 
vegetable matter most efficiently for the use of man and other 
creatures, by converting it into their own flesh, which is edible 
throughout all the members of this order, and, in a large propor- 
tion, is delicious food. 

FAMILY XII. CERVIDiE. The Deer Family. 

Genus Cervus. Lin. Deer. 

Generic characters. Dental system ; incisors f ; canines |=| ; 
molars £=£ ; = 32 ; head elongated, and terminated with a muz- 
zle ; males all provided with horns, covered at first by a hairy 
membrane ; horns solid, branched, deciduous ; feet provided with 
hoofs ; tail short. 



1. Cervus Alces. Lin. The Moose. 

Cervus Alces, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 229. Richardson, Fauna Bor. Am., 

p. 232. 
The Moose, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 274. 

Figure ; Ibid., p. 274. Griffith's Cuvier, iv. p. 72. 

Specific characters. Color black, or blackish-brown, intermixed 
with gray ; neck surmounted with a short mane ; head large, 
elongated, and terminating in a large, thick, curved nose, with a 
small triangular muzzle, and adorned in the male with large pal- 
mated horns ; nostrils long, slouched, and narrow ; neck short, and 
furnished with a hairy appendage beneath. 

Description. The head is long, with a thick upper lip ; the 
neck extremely short, and the body rather thick, and supported 
on long and rather slender legs ; ears long ; horns palmated and 
situated between the eyes and the crest of the skull ; female des- 
titute of horns ; the color in the winter is almost black on the 
superior parts ; lighter below, and yellowish, or dirty white, on the 
belly ; legs long, and toes capable of being widely separated ; 
tail very short ; in the skull the horn is inserted nearer to the orbit 
of the eye than to the crucial ridge ; between the insertion of the 
horns and the orbits, there exists a deep and wide depression, and 
above, a heavy ridge or projection, on which the horns are sup- 
ported, and which is on the line of the coronal suture, or the suture 
may be said to traverse this projection on the posterior part ; in- 
ward and beneath the orbit, there is a large, triangular, vacant 
space, which does not communicate directly with the orbit, but 
extends far up beneath the os frontis. 


Length of the body, 















































Length measured over the os frontis, ... 2 

" " over the palatine bones to the foramen, . 1 

" from the occipital crest to a prominence between the horns, 
" from the prominence to the bottom of the depression, 
Depth of the depression, . . . . .0 

Length from the prominence to the lower end of the nasal bones, 
" from the lower end of the nasal to the end of the maxillary, 10 
" from the centre of the horn to the centre of the orbit, 
" from the tip of one horn to the other, . . 2 

" of the horn, 2 

Breadth of the jaw over the palatine bones, . . .0 

Length over the processes of ossa malarum, . . 

Height of the upper jaw, . . . . .0 

Width over the centre of the orbits, ... 

Length of the lower jaw, . . . . .1 

Number of prongs to the horn measured, 8 

Observations. The Moose is not found at present within the 
limits of this State, neither has it probably been taken within its 
bounds for the last thirty or forty years. It may, therefore, be 
considered as extinct, so far as Massachusetts is concerned. It 
is still found in Maine, and in the northern parts of New York, 
Vermont, and ^ew Hampshire. 

The Moose, which, in the Indian language, means wood-eater, 
comes to maturity in about five years. The female brings forth 
two calves in the spring, which, in the course of the season, pre- 
sent a growth of horn in the form and size of a small knob ; in 
the second year, it is a round spike, and slightly curved at the 
extremity, and it is not until the third year that it begins to branch 
and flatten, and to present the appearance of being palmate. In 
the summer, the Moose frequents swamps and marshy grounds in 
the vicinity of lakes and ponds. In those places it finds a sup- 
ply of its peculiar food, which consists of coarse grass, and twigs 
of young trees, especially the striped maple ; it is also in the habit 
of peeling old trees, and feeding on the bark. We have but to 
inspect this animal to be satisfied that its habits must be different 
from those of our common domesticated animals, for it will be 
observed at a glance, that it stands so high upon its legs, and 
its neck is so short, that it cannot conveniently feed in ordinary 


pastures ; hence we see that it is peculiarly fitted to feed on the 
high coarse grasses of marshes, or on the leaves of the water lily, 
or on the twigs and bark of trees ; and it is thus we find that its 
habits correspond to its organization. 

In the winter these animals herd together to the number of eight 
or ten individuals, which, unless when disturbed by hunters, occupy 
a common space or enclosure, during the whole period in which the 
ground is covered with snow. Those spaces are selected in 
which a supply of food is found, which must then consist entirely 
of twigs and the branches of trees, together with their bark. 
The snow is trodden down hard, and the space gradually extended 
as the food diminishes within ; they do not, therefore, roam about 
at this season, as in summer, but confine themselves to the vicinity 
of the places originally selected for their abode during the 
winter. The movements of the Moose are rapid, when pursued, 
and they make their way with the greatest ease through thickets, 
over fallen trees, and through brush almost impenetrable to man. 
Their gait is a long trot, in which the hoofs are spread wide 
apart, which makes them tender-footed, and unequal to the 
task of long continued flight ; hence they are overtaken by dogs 
and held at bay, even in that part of the season most favorable to 
their escape. 

This animal has been domesticated, and broken to the harness, 
although naturally of a shy and timid disposition. Its sense of 
seeing is comparatively obtuse, but those of smell and hearing 
are extremely acute, both being greatly favored by the size of their 
respective organs. Thus the ears are large and quite movable, 
and well calculated to collect sounds, and transmit them to the 
auditory apparatus ; the nose, together with the spongoid bones 
within the cavity, is very large, and thereby permits of a great 
extension of the schneiderian membrane, to which the olfactory 
nerves are distributed ; hence it is impossible to approach them 
when the wind is blowing towards them, as a strange odor wafted 
to them in the air excites at once their attention, and puts them 
into the attitude of examination. When, on the contrary, the 
wind blows in the other direction, they may be approached directly 
without exciting suspicion. In some respects, it is desirable that 
so fine an animal should be saved from entire extirpation, though 


it is quite doubtful whether it could be made profitable to man in 
the present state of society. If it could be suffered to exist in 
those parts of the country which are so sterile and cold that they 
cannot be cultivated with much profit, it is all that could be ex- 
pected or wished for. Its meat is certainly delicious, partaking 
more of the nature of beef than of venison, and its flavor, in the 
males, would probably be improved by emasculation, which would 
render it also more susceptible of accumulating fat. For its pres- 
ervation, however, it is difficult to enforce laws ; so that there is 
very little probability of saving the species from a total extirpation. 
So far as game and hunting are concerned, the sooner our wild 
animals are extinct the better, for they serve to support a few in- 
dividuals just on the borders of a savage state, whose labors in 
the family of man are more injurious than beneficial. It is not, 
therefore, so much to be regretted that our larger animals of the 
chase have disappeared. What comforts their fur and their skins 
have provided, can be abundantly supplied by animals already do- 
mesticated, at far less expense, both of time and money, and are 
not subject to that drawback, the deterioration of morals. 

The young in October are fine-flavored, and, as we should ex- 
pect, their meat partakes of the qualities of veal. An individual 
at this time gave the following measurements ; 

ft. in. t>ths. 

Length from the nose to the insertion of the tail, . . 5 8 

Ear, measured behind, 7 6 

Height, 3 10 

The color, at this period, is a dark, rusty brown, quite uniform 
on the upper parts, and lighter on the legs. They continue in 
company with the mother, if undisturbed, the two first years. In the 
autumn, it is not uncommon to meet with from three to five indi- 
viduals of different ages. The young, when only a few days old, 
is perfectly manageable, and will as readily follow its captor as its 
mother, provided she has been killed ; it becomes, therefore, at 
this age, perfectly domesticated at once, and drinks milk, or feeds 
from the hand, with very little instruction. It soon learns to dis- 
tinguish the inmates of the family, by whom it may be handled 
with perfect safety, but it is quite suspicious of strangers, and is 
very apt to give a severe blow with its knees, or fore feet. 


2. Cervus tarandus. Lin. The Reindeer. 

Caribou, Charlevoix, Nouv. France, in., p. 129. 
Greenland Deer, Catesby. 
Reindeer, Pennant, Arct. Zool. 
Cervus tarandus, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 232. 
The Reindeer, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 283. 
Figure ; Ibid., ii. p. 274, f. 2. 

Specific characters. Dental system ; incisors f ; canines i=i ; 
molars £=£ ; = 34 ; horns flat, smooth, and possessed by both 
sexes ; hoofs rounded, broad, and consisting of a single plate fold- 
ed immediately upon itself, so as to form the anterior and posterior 
surfaces, without the intervention of any substance between them. 

Description. The general form of the animal is thick and 
heavy, more so at least than in the common deer, and its legs are 
proportionally shorter ; horns palmate, rather smooth, or free 
from those rugosities common to the horns of the fallow deer ; 
more or less irregular in their mode of branching ; brow antler 
basal, and standing inwards towards its fellow ; muzzle small, tri- 
angular ; hoofs rounded before, hollowed out behind, thin, and 
consisting of a plate of horny matter, which is folded in such a 
manner, that the posterior portion is in contact with the anterior ; 
none of that peculiar substance called " the frog of the foot," in- 
tervenes between the two portions ; color above, brown ; beneath, 
paler ; chin, lower portion of the neck, and about the hoofs and 
tail beneath, whitish, or yellowish-white ; a few hairs entirely 
white are sparsely scattered over the body ; the hair very uniform 
as it regards length, tapering, brown at the extremity and whitish 
below, and slightly crisped ; the winter coat very thick, and inter- 
mixed with brown fur ; there is a palish patch back of the fore 
legs, and a triangular patch of brown between the fore legs, but 
all anterior, yellowish-white ; there is also a dark-brown patch 
adjacent to the terminal white chin. 


ft. in. t'ths. 

Length from the nose to the root of the tail, . . . 5 6 

" of tail including the hair, 5 

" from the nose to the base of the ear, . . . 12 


ft. in. t'ths. 

Length of the posterior portion of the ear, . . . .050 
" of the long hair under the neck, . . . . 5 
" of the common hair, 13 

Height at the fore legs, 3 

Description and measurements from a male, said to be three 
years old, and in his winter dress. 


ft. in. t'ths. 

Length measured over the nasal bones, . . . . 12 

" along the palatine bones, 10 5 

Width between the orbits, 4 8 

Length from the canine tooth to the meatus, . . . . 10 1 
" from the upper edge of the orbit of the left side to the 

centre of the base of the horn, 2 7 

The same measurement on the right side gives only . .020 

This difference in the position of the horns of opposite sides 
may be accidental. 

Observations. Whether the Caribou was ever an inhabitant of 
this State, is now difficult to determine. Civilization we know 
early drove away the more shy and timid animals, especially those 
of the larger kinds, and hence, as in the case of the Moose, this 
too may have fled on the first approach of civilized man. It is 
only a few years since this animal occasionally appeared in the 
northern parts of Vermont and New Hampshire, from which it is 
not unreasonable to infer, that, in still earlier times, it may have 
passed still farther South, and, in fact, have occupied a portion of 
Massachusetts. It is never seen in this State at the present day. 
It is still possible that some light may be thrown upon this subject 
at some future day, by the discovery of the bones of the animal 
in the bogs, or alluvials along our water courses. This is the 
only resource which we have left for information on this subject. 
It will, I think, be perceived, that the Genus Cervus, as now 
constituted, requires some change, in order to adapt it to the 
present state of our knowledge of the principles of classification, 
and I think that it will not be long before naturalists will see the 
propriety of separating the Caribou * from the Genus Cervus. 

* Since the above was written, I am informed by Dr. De Kay, that the Caribou 
has already been made into a new genus, but I am unable to refer to the author, 
and therefore am obliged to let the species remain in its old place in the system. 


The differences are well marked and constant. For example, 
the male and female are both supplied with antlers ; the presence 
also of the canine tooth is another very important difference ; 
and again the structure of the hoof, and, lastly, the general shape 
and form of the body, though the most important differences are 
those relating to the teeth, and to the form and structure of the 
hoof. From an opportunity which I had of examining the skull 
of the Californian Moose, I was led to infer that it resembled 
more the Caribou of Nova Scotia, than the Moose, inasmuch as 
its size was less than the Moose, and it possessed the canine tooth. 
The form of this tooth is, however, very different, and would 
constitute, were there no other differences, a good specific charac- 
ter. There are many important differences in the skull of the 
Moose and Caribou, which it may be well to notice. In the 
Caribou, the nasal bones are longer, and these, together with the 
maxillae, form a nearly cylindrical portion of the face below the 
eyes, whereas, in the Moose, this portion is compressed and 
flattened. The depression between the eyes is less in the Cari- 
bou than in the Moose. In the Caribou, the horns are placed 
farther from the eyes, while in the Moose, they stand over, and 
rest nearly on the superior and posterior portion of the orbit, 
and the cuneiform process is much wider, and the nasal septum 
extends backwards, and rests on its anterior portion in the former 
animal. The whole length of the skull in the Caribou, is pro- 
portionally longer, reckoning from the crest to the inferior termi- 
nation of the nasal bones ; while, in the Moose, the prolongation 
of the nose is greater than in the Caribou, there being a great ex- 
tent of cartilage, while, in addition to length, it forms a high arch, 
as in the horse. The prominence in the os frontis of the Moose, 
is situated a little higher than the horns, but, in the Caribou, 
lower, making the depression, spoken of above, nearly between 
the eyes, while, in the Moose, it is above. Again, in the Cari- 
bou, the base on which the antlers are implanted, projects upward 
and backward, but in the Moose, laterally. 


3. Cervus Virginianus. Fallow Deer. 

Virginian Deer, Pennant. 

Cervus Virginianus, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 238. 
The Common Deer, Godman, Nat. Hist., ii. p. 306. 
Figure ; Ibid., p. 306. 

Specific characters. Horns bent forwards, with an antler on the 
internal face of each ; stem directed inwards, and two or three 
others at the posterior face directed backwards ; fur of a cinna- 
mon fawn-color in summer, brownish-gray in winter ; in the young, 
spotted with white, irregularly arranged on the sides, but in one 
continuous line along the back. 

Description. General form slender and light ; legs thin, rather 
long ; color cinnamon-brown or fawn early in the summer, after- 
wards bluish ; in the winter, yellowish or rusty-brown ; hairs an- 
gular, tapering to a fine point, which is dark-brown, then a ring 
of yellow, then of brown, gradually fading into white or whitish, 
the last of which occupies nearly its whole length. The edge 
of the under lip is white, also the belly ; a stripe on the anterior 
part of the hind leg, and the posterior part of the fore leg, and 
also the under part of the tail. Besides this distribution of colors, 
there is a gray, a little above the extremity of the nose, around 
the eyes, and inside of the ears ; the latter are edged with dark 
brown. The general color is darker along the back than upon 
the sides ; hoofs black, sharp, or pointed ; on the inside of the 
hind legs there is a thick odoriferous brush of hair, situated near 
the joint, which seems to be connected with the sexual appetite. 


ft. in. t'thg. 

Medium length from the nose to the root of the tail, . . 5 

Tail, including the hair, 10 

Ear, on the back side, 6 

From the nose to the space between the ears, . . . .10 
Height, 325 

Observations. The Cervus Virginianus is still preserved in the 
eastern part of the State, on one or more islands near the main 
shore. It has also been taken within the last year in Williams- 
town, at the base of Saddle Mountain, and it is not very rare in 


the towns upon the Hoosic Mountain range, and there is but little 
doubt, that in the more wooded parts of the State it would become 
an inhabitant again if unmolested by dogs and hunters. 

Fossil Species. 

A subject of great interest to the naturalist is the extinction of 
species. It will be perceived, on consulting the preceding pages, 
that a few animals which were once common to this State, are 
now driven from its bounds, and that when civilization shall have 
extended a little farther into the wilds of the forest, they, to- 
gether with many more, will become extinct. In the course of 
my investigations or inquiries, I have ascertained that another 
animal of the deer tribe must have been also common to New 
England and New York, but that it has now totally disappeared. 
This animal was either the Canada Elk, or else was a distinct 
species from any now known to America. I am not able to 
satisfy myself whether the animal in question was the Canada 
Elk, in consequence of not having a skull for comparison ; but I 
am rather inclined to think that it was a larger animal, and analogous 
to the Irish Elk. In this conjecture, it is quite possible I may be 
mistaken. Without, however, wasting time in conjecture, I pro- 
ceed to state the facts in my possession relating to it. 

The most important relics of this animal which have fallen under 
my observation, are a tooth, and a horn of the second year's 
growth. The tooth was taken from a clay bed along with several 
others in Chautauque County, New York. It is the last molar of 
the right side of the upper jaw ; to it were attached a portion of 
the palatine bone, and the whole of the alveolar process. It is in 
a state of good preservation, and is not changed in its substance. 
It is an old tooth, being worn considerably. The following are 
its dimensions. 

in, t'ths. 

Greatest spread of the fangs, 1 Ik 

Transverse diameter of the crown, . . . .15 
Shortest diameter of the crown, .... 12 

I understood from the person who furnished me with the tooth, 
that it was the smallest of several taken from the same place. 
The horn, spoken of above, belongs to the Museum of the Col- 


lege of Natural History, in the Un'versity of Vermont. It was 
thrown out by the plough from an elevated piece of ground on 
Grand Isle, and near a spring of water. It was found in a vertical 
position. One side is corroded in spots. It is the second year's 
growth probably, as it has no branches, nor portions which ex- 
hibit appearances of having been branched. The following are 
its dimensions. 

From the tip to the root in a straight line, 

" " along the curve, .... 

Circumference just above the tuberosities, 

" at the highest part of the curve, 

" five inches from the tip, 

By comparing this and the horn of the Moose of the second 
year, it is apparent that they are totally unlike. This, how r ever, 
may be the horn of the young Elk, and the tooth in question may 
also belong to the same species ; if so, the facts go to prove the 
former existence of this animal much farther to the east than it is 
now found. Or they may belong to an extinct species, and it is 
only by a record of similar facts, that the question can be 
settled. It is for the purpose of calling the attention of the public 
to this subject, that the preceding facts are given, in hopes that 
thereby all bones, teeth, and horns, discovered, may be pre- 
served for examination by those who are qualified for the task. 














Page 5, for Family MUSCIDiE, read Family MURTD^E. 


American lion, 
A'rctomys monax, 
Arvicola albo-rufescens, 



Bat, Carolina, 

, hoary, 

, New York, . 

Bat Family, . 
Bear, Black, 
Bear Family, 
Beaver Family, 

Canis lupus, 
Castor fiber, 
Cat Family, . 
Cat, wild, 

■ ■ alces, . 

tarandus, . 



Condylura longicaudata, 



, Fallow, 

Deer Family, 
Dog Family, 

Ermine Weasel, 

Fe'lidjs, . 
Felis concolor, 
Fiber Zibethicus, 
Fox, Gray, 
, Red, 

Gerbillus Canadensis, 

Hare, American, 

, Prairie, 

Hare Family, 

Hy'strix dorsata, 
















Lepus Americanus, 


Lutra Canadensis, 
Ly'ncus borealis, 

Lynx, Canada, 

Martin, Pine, 
Mephitis Americana, 

Mole Family, 
Mole, Star-nosed, 

Mouse, Common, 
— , Jumping, 


Mus decumanus, 



Musk Rat, 
Mustela Canadensis, 
martes, . 





Porcupine Family, . 

Procyon lotor, 

Pteromys volucella, 






Rat, Black, 

, Brown, 

Rat Family, 
Rumina'ntia, . 

Scalops Canadensis, 






Sciurus striatus, 


Shreav Family, 

Mole, . 

, Short-tailed, 


S6rex brevicaudis, 



, Black, 

, Chickaree^ 

, Common red, 

, Flying, . 

, Fox, 

, Gray, . 

, Little gray, . 

, Striped, 



U'RSID.2E, . 

U'rsus Americanus, . 

Vespertilio Carolinensis, 





— Virginianus, 


■, Ermine, 

Weasel Family, 
Wolf, Common, 














QK125.M3 " ard ' n Ubrar " 

Massachusetts Zool/Reports on the herba 

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